HELENVALE residents breathed a huge sigh of relief on Monday when a gang member who terrorised the community was sentenced to 65 years in prison.

Jermaine Ruiters (21) was found guilty by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court of murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said: “He was arrested in hospital by an officer of the provincial gang task team for a shooting spree that took place over two weeks in May 2016.

“In the first incident, he was an accomplice in the murder of 29-year-old Charlton Matthews. A 28-year-old was also shot in the back and wounded.”

Naidu said in the second incident, Ruiters opened fire on three men on Pienaar Street in Helenvale.

“None of the men were hurt in the incident. Cops then received information about a shooting on Calvin Street,” she said.

“A man was shot and taken to hospital. The investigating officer found the accused, who was 18 at the time, with two gunshot wounds.”

She said some of the sentences will run concurrently and Ruiters will spend 24 years in jail.