Two Luton men have received long jail sentences after their involvement in an unsuccessful paid assassination attempt.
On May 5 2013 at 9pm Khadeem Newell, 22, of Jasmine Road, attempted to murder two men travelling in a car on Fountains Road, shooting at the rear side window from a motorcycle.
The bullet he fired passed straight through the BMW, passing through the other side.
Newell– a paid hitman who had been hired to target the men over a debt dispute– was then followed by the car’s driver, who clipped a cyclist and crashing into a taxi in Culverhouse Road.
As another shot was fired as the motorcyclist ran from the scene, leaving the bike, his helmet and one training shoe behind.
When forensic examinations were completed it was found the helmet and shoe contained Newell’s DNA and fingerprints.
After Scenes of Crime Officers recovered the bullets it was also found that they matched shells used in another shooting on Tudor Road.
That incident, on April 30 2013, left a man with serious leg injuries after he was shot as he was leaving work.
The court heard that Rene Lawrence, 24, of Littlefield Road, played a key role in organising both shootings, as well as another in St. Michael’s Road on April 24,
He was given a life sentence with a minimum of 11 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
Newell was found guilty of the same charge– as well as attempted murder and the possession of a section 5 firearm with intent to endanger life– and was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.
Zeeshan Khan, 23, of Connaught Road, Luton, was found guilty of assisting an offender by helping Newell to escape from the scene on May 5– which earned him a three-year jail sentence.
Khan was found not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to murder.
A fourth man, Mohammed Parvaiz Khan, 29, of St Ethelbert Avenue, Luton, was found not guilty to conspiracy to murder and assisting an offender.
Speaking after the sentencing DS Duncan Young, who received a commendation from Judge Michael Kay QC after the sentencing, said: “These incidents have not only had a detrimental effect on the men targeted but also on their families and the communities within Luton as a whole.
“During all three incidents the use of a firearm within a public place put people in fear and at great risk.
“Bedfordshire Police will not tolerate firearms related offences within Bedfordshire and the investigation team left no stone unturned in this inquiry.
“Using specialist forensic techniques led to Newell’s identification and painstaking telephone work meant that the others, who are also now facing long terms of imprisonment, were also identified.
“Operation Boson, the force’s crackdown on firearms related crime, continues to pursue those who commit firearms related offences within Bedfordshire. The team have so far executed 109 warrants, arrested 136 people and recovered 19 firearms.
“I hope this court result and subsequent sentencing sends a clear message to those who commit firearms offences - Bedfordshire Police will continue to use all the powers and specialist techniques available to them to stop this behaviour and keep the communities within the county safe.”