Man pleads guilty to GBH after rival gang member stabbed at Sunday League football match in Northampton

Charges against two others dismissed following 2019 incident in Ecton Brook

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:50 pm

A man has pleaded guilty to wounding with intent following the stabbing and shooting of a rival gang member in Northampton’s Eastern District more than two years ago.

Jerome McDonald, aged 32, appeared at Northampton Crown Court this week in connection with the incident when a man was assaulted while watching a Sunday morning football match in Ecton Brook.

The victim, then aged 28, suffered three stab wounds and was flown to hospital by air ambulance but later found not to be seriously injured.

Jerome McDonald pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court. Photo: Northamptonshire Police.

Northampton CID launched a large-scale investigation and uncovered ongoing tension between members of rival gangs from Wellingborough and Northampton — including McDonald — sparked the incident.

At the beginning of what was due to be a trial, McDonald pleaded guilty to one count of section 18 wounding with intent, also known as grievous bodily harm, admitting he had called others to the scene knowing they would bring weapons with them to a playing field off Pennycress Place on July 21, 2019.

After pleading guilty on Tuesday (November 2), McDonald, of Pennycress Place, was remanded in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing on January 31.

Two other men who were also arrested in connection with the incident had charges against them dismissed at court.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Sergeant Simon Manwaring admitted: “This incident caused a lot of community tension at the time.

“On that Sunday morning, McDonald saw a member of a rival gang spectating at a football match on what he perceived as his territory.

"Without consideration for the safety of any of those other people present, he called his fellow gang members along with the sole aim of doing harm to the victim.

“His conviction is a positive conclusion to one element of our long-running investigation.

"We would encourage anyone with further information about the incident to contact us, as we’re still actively seeking justice against those others involved.

“Northamptonshire Police take a proactive approach to tackling organised crime and gang-related violence, as it is never right that the actions of a criminal few should be allowed to negatively affect our communities.”

The investigation remains open and information about any other people involved can be shared by calling Northamptonshire Police on 101 regarding incident number 19000381601, or speaking to Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.