"this was a carefully planned 'hit' with a lethal weapon."
Six men have been convicted after the mayor of Kirklees Council’s son-in-law was shot in a drive-by incident.
Hamza Hussain, then aged 22, and his friend Mohammed Hussain were shot as they sat in a vehicle in a Sainsbury’s car park in the Fountain Court retail park, Liversedge, at around 7:10 pm on November 4, 2019.
His father-in-law, Mumtaz Hussain, is the mayor of Kirklees Council.
In addition to the six convicted defendants, three other men pleaded guilty to conspiracy with intent to enable others to endanger life.
A woman was also convicted of smuggling a phone into prison to give to her boyfriend.
Kane Wilby and Yaseen Ahmed pulled up in a Golf alongside the driver’s side of the car that Hamza was in.
David Brooke QC, prosecuting, said the Golf’s front-seat passenger was wearing a balaclava and holding a gun.
The gunman, who may have been Wilby or Ahmed, immediately shot Hamza through the driver’s door. He was then shot again.
One of the two bullets went through the victim and into Mohammed.
The Golf then sped off and has never been found.
Mayor Hussain had arrived at the scene but was unaware that his son-in-law was one of the victims.
Both victims were rushed to hospital. Hamza was treated for wounds to the right side, right shoulder blade area and for a fracture on the right side of his pelvis.
A bullet was surgically removed from his lower back.
A second bullet was removed from Mohammed’s back.
Underneath the victim’s car, police found a GPS tracking device magnetically attached.
Mr Brooke said the car had been followed by the Golf shortly before the shooting and the tracker had been remotely accessed in the time leading up to the shooting.
He said: “In other words, this was a carefully planned ‘hit’ with a lethal weapon.”
Mr Brooke told jurors: “The Crown’s case is that the key person responsible for supervising the conspiracy was Umar Ditta.
“He can be linked to the tracker device and was the first of the conspirators to be arrested.
“At the time of the shooting itself, Ditta was at work.
“The prosecution suggest that he had taken considerable care to put distance between himself and the events of the shooting itself, or as you might say, to get others to do his dirty work.
“The person he chose to track the car through the device and communicate with the shooters in real-time was actually someone who was in prison at the time, again no doubt to provide that person with an alibi. His name is Aadil Malik.”
In October 2020, the tracker was in the hands of Ditta’s associate, Azeem Hussain.
Before the tracker was placed, Ditta sent him a WhatsApp message saying:
“Put the T on charge bro.”
Azeem replied: “OK bro.”
The tracker was then given to taxi driver Mohammed Hamza Hussain and later that night, he and two others placed the device under the car.
Police saw CCTV footage of someone placing it under the victim’s car outside his house at 3:30 am on October 29, 2019.
On the day of the incident, prisoner Aadil Malik was in contact with the pair in the Golf.
He used a phone specifically for that purpose.
Following the tracker’s discovery, police asked the company responsible for the software to monitor any remote contact.
They told police that the device was remotely accessed on November 5, 2019, from a David Lloyd gym. Police checked the CCTV and saw Ditta had been at the gym at the time.
Ditta was arrested on November 8. His phone showed it had accessed the tracker app around the same time on November 5.
Ditta’s phone also contained screenshots that matched the particular tracking device.
Following a trial, six people were convicted of conspiracy to murder.
- Umar Ditta, aged 34, of Batley, who was at work at the time of the shooting but who the prosecution say supervised the conspiracy.
- Aadil Malik, aged 24, who was in prison at the time of the shooting.
- Azeem Hussain, aged 34, Dewsbury, who was in The Express by Shimlas restaurant at the time of the shooting.
- Aadil Malik’s brother Jamal Malik, aged 25, of Batley.
- Kane Corie Wilby, aged 20, of Batley.
- Yaseen Ahmed, aged 26, of Heckmondwike.
Aadil’s girlfriend Farhana Ghafoor, aged 21, of Batley, was found guilty of conveying a list B prohibited article into/out of a prison.
Jamal is also due to be sentenced for possession with intent to supply cocaine and having a blade.
Three other defendants pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life or enable another to do so.
- Khamier Masood, aged 32, of Dewsbury.
- Mohammed Hamza Hussain, aged 25, of Dewsbury, who the prosecution say put the tracker on the car along with two others.
- Adeel Hussain, aged 32, of Dewsbury.
The Examiner reported that all 10 defendants are set to be sentenced in April 2021.