Gang member tackled to the ground as armed youths fight running battle at shopping centre


Youths fought a running battle through a shopping centre – before one gang member was tackled to the ground and found with a 12-inch knife.

Now Shaylon McCalla – who bit a security guard and punched a police officer after the ordeal – has been challenged to stay out of trouble or face being jailed.

DerbyshireLive reports how terrified shoppers cowered as the youths fought a running battle through what was intu Derby in August last year.

Derby Crown Court heard how McCalla was part of a group of young people who ran amok, scaring shoppers as they fought last summer.

After being chased, caught and held by security guards, he told one he had Covid and bit him, claiming he couldn’t breathe while being restrained on the ground. While they held him, the knife was found in his waistband.

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Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, said a gang of young people were spotted running through the centre – now Derbion – at 3.30pm on August 21, last year.

He said security guards chased them and managed to detain McCalla in Boots but he struggled saying “I can’t breathe” and “this is what happened to George Floyd” to them.

Mr James-Moore said while he was held the defendant bit one of the guards to the leg.

He later needed injections and a course of antibiotics.

Mr James-Moore said: “A large knife was found in his waistband, it was a Rambo-style knife around 1ft in length.

“Police took him but he continued to resist and it took them 20 minutes to get him into the van.

“He was taken to hospital to be checked over but was able to get free and ran off only to be found hiding in some undergrowth.

“When he was found, he resisted again and hit a police officer to the face causing a loose tooth which later needed £280 of treatment.”



Derby Crown Court
Derby Crown Court

McCalla, of Osmaston Park Road, Derby, pleaded guilty to charges including possession of an offensive weapon, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker.

He has previous convictions and has served spells in a young offender institution for carrying weapons.

Denny Lau, mitigating, said his client, who was supported by his parents in court, has now been moved out of Derby and taken to a new address away from those he formerly associated himself with.

He said: “They both accept they have not been able to bring him up in the way they should and the police have had to move them to a different area.”

Judge Shaun Smith QC said to McCalla: “You have been in trouble since you were around 11, is that right?”

He answered: “Yes.”

Judge Smith said: “You have been involved in gangs, haven’t you?”

McCalla replied: “Correct.”

Judge Smith said: “Throughout that time you have been playing the Big ‘I am’ walking around with a hand gun, blades and being a nuisance and you don’t have to answer this question but I bet you have got away with loads more haven’t you?”

McCalla looked to the floor and did not answer.

Judge Smith said: “Knives are just the scourge of the streets of Derby and people are sick to death of people like you in shopping centres carrying knives.

“You give young people a bad name and I spent 10 years (as a barrister) defending people who stabbed people.

“Many times they only stabbed them once and they were sent to prison for 25 to 30 years because it did not go the way they wanted it to go.

“I have heard it all as a barrister defending people like you, it’s not worth it.”

The judge deferred the sentence for six months to test if McCalla can stay out of trouble.

He also banned him from entering Derbion for five years.

Judge Smith said: “It’s two years in an adult prison if you don’t do what I tell you.

“If you do, then I will suspended it.

“You have one opportunity.”

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