Europe

Killers facing life after ankle tags proved they were at murder scene

A gunman and his 15-year-old getaway driver have been convicted of murder after their electronic tags placed them at the scene of a drive-by shooting.

The 20-year-old Coventry man and his accomplice, now aged 16, were found guilty by unanimous verdicts of killing Abdul Xasan.

A trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told 19-year-old Mr Xasan was killed by shots fired from a stolen Volkswagen Golf R in the Hillfields area of Coventry – just as parents were picking up children from a nearby nursery.

Police said he had just left Friday prayers at a mosque and was walking home when he was blasted in the back with a pump-action shotgun at 2.30pm on 13 March.

Both defendants were caught after police, tipped off by members of the public, ran their names through their computer system and realised both were on electronic tags.

Unknown to the killers, their ankle-worn tags – used to police a curfew while they were under investigation for other crimes – showed them at the murder scene at the time of the shooting.

CCTV evidence and mobile phone cell-site data were also used to track the pair’s movements.

A court order prevents the media from naming the youth because of his age, while the older defendant cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Officers believe both defendants were members of Coventry’s C2 gang, which has been engaged in a long-running series of violent clashes with a rival group.

The shooting was described as a “horrendous” offence by detectives. Dramatic footage of the attack, released by police, shows the moment the Golf cruised past the unsuspecting Mr Xasan.

As it slows, three puffs of white smoke from the shotgun’s muzzle can be seen.

Despite Mr Xasan being mortally wounded, the driver pursued him around a corner into Adelaide Street, allowing the gunman to fire again.

The teenage defendant then drove recklessly to flee the scene.

Speaking after the verdicts, Detective Chief Inspector Scott Griffiths, of West Midlands Police, said the pair had showed no regard for public safety.

He said: “It is broad daylight, the middle of the afternoon, and a number of witnesses to this event were actually there waiting to pick up their young children.

“The people responsible had no respect in relation to anybody else’s safety. It was just a horrendous incident.”

Both defendants face automatic terms of detention for life when they are sentenced on 22 December.

Source: Read Full Article