"It was a vigilante reprisal in an angry dispute between two groups of men"
Three men have been jailed for a total of 16 years and three months on June 17, 2019, over the shooting of Rohid Ali on the streets of Bradford.
Usman Nawaz and Mohammed Yasin fired at Mr Ali at close range in a drive-by shooting on Heaton Road, Manningham, on August 15, 2017.
The 25-year-old sustained serious head injuries when several gunshot pellets penetrated his skull.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Zaka Ur-Rehman was standing with the victim and was hit on the upper body. He has been left with psychological trauma.
It was heard that two weeks before the shooting, Mr Ali was pursued by police as he was driving a stolen car.
He crashed into another vehicle containing Nawaz’s mother and sister who were left needing medical treatment.
Nawaz’s family made Ali’s behaviour known in the area, which led to a criminal damage incident and verbal threats being issued to the Nawaz’s.
Prosecutor Kama Melly said: “It was a vigilante reprisal in an angry dispute between two groups of men in the Bradford area.”
A Honda Civic was used in the shooting. After 10:30 pm, it was found burnt out on Shay Lane.
Although the car was badly damaged, a latex glove was found which had a DNA link to Yasin.
Hasanain Murtaza collected the other two men after the Honda was set on fire.
Miss Melly explained that local residents informed the police of a gunshot.
Shortly after, a detective on other duties at Bradford Royal Infirmary saw a grey Seat Leon driving at speed through the car and a man being helped into the hospital.
Rohid Ali was covered in blood. There was blood on the car door and on clothing in the back seat.
Mr Ali was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where a neurosurgeon had to cut away part of his skull to reach the injured area of the brain.
Eight pellets were removed but it was considered too dangerous to remove all of them. Mr Ali also had a fractured skull and a blood clot.
He remained in hospital until September 6, 2017.
Mr Ur-Rehman sustained shotgun wounds to his chest and shoulder area.
The court heard that he is now unable to sleep on his right side. He is wary of going to the shops and being out and about.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the defendants were all friends.
He explained that the shooting plot developed after Nawaz was “incensed” about Mr Ali crashing into his family’s car in a stolen vehicle.
A vehicle parked outside Nawaz’s home was deliberately damaged with sticks and bricks. Judge Hall added that Nawaz’s family received death threats.
He stated that Nawaz took matters into his own hands by obtaining the shotgun and firing it at “very close and indiscriminate proximity” to Mr Ali.
Judge Hall said:
“It was a grotesque, excessive, ruthless and dangerous response to the verbal threats and criminal damage.”
There was no evidence about what happened to the gun or where it came from.
Abdul Iqbal QC said that Nawaz had no history of violence. He said:
“But for the criminal activity of a young man whose behaviour was thoroughly reprehensible, this would never have happened.”
Mr Iqbal said that Rohid Ali’s group made gun-related threats to Nawaz’s family, scaring his pregnant wife.
Balraj Bhatia QC, for Yasin, said his client acted out of misplaced loyalty for his best friend.
They intended the shot to be “a deterrent and a frightener”.
Richard Wright QC said Murtaza had behaved in an immature and foolish manner. He only responded to a cry for help from his friends.
Nawaz and Yasin were initially on trial for conspiracy to murder Rohid Ali but the Crown accepted their pleas to the lesser offence of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Usman Nawaz, aged 24, of Blackburn, was jailed for seven years.
Mohammed Yasin, aged 24, of Keighley, was also sentenced to seven years in prison.
Hasanain Murtaza, aged 24, of Heaton, Bradford, admitted assisting an offender and was jailed for 27 months.
Sakib Ditta, aged 24, of Keighley, was cleared of all allegations.
Detective Superintendent Jim Griffiths said:
“Illegally owned firearms have no place on the streets of West Yorkshire and anyone found to be in possession of such weapons can expect to be sent to prison for a significant time.”
DS Griffiths advised the public to report those in possession of firearms to the West Yorkshire Police website or to Crimestoppers.