Three men accused of killing a man in a Sheffield drive-by shooting carried out in broad daylight, were found guilty of murder a few moments ago.
It took jurors just over four days of deliberation to find Matthew Cohen, 29, Keil Bryan, 32, and Dale Gordon, 33 guilty of fatally shooting 23-year-old Assel Al-Essaie as he sat in a white Mercedes in Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe.
Several members of the public gallery wept as the unanimous verdicts were returned out this afternoon.
Cohen, Gordon, of Mather Road, Darnall and Bryan of Brackley Street killed Mr Al-Essaie as part of a joint enterprise, and were all present in a VW Golf vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting that was carried out at around 1.30pm on February 18 last year.
Judge Stephen Males thanked the jury for their service during the seven-week trial, and remanded the three defendants into custody until later this month when they will be sentenced.
He told the three defendants: “The sentence will be one of life imprisonment, the only question is the minimum term.”
One member of the public gallery shouted: “What about the police corruption though, what about that,” as the three men were taken out of the dock and into custody.
Speaking outside court, DCI Steve Whittaker, the investigating officer in the case, said: “To kill someone in such a cold-blooded way, with a .44 calibre firearm is horrendous. For me this is
good closure for the family.”
He added: “It’s been 14-months of tireless police work, not one single person charged with this murder, and other offences, spoke to us. They all said no comment in police interview.
“Nobody spoke to us, nobody gave us an inch. We recovered 150 hours of CCTV, we reviewed 7,000 documents, downloaded in excess of 110 phones, we left no stone unturned.”
James Good, 32, pleaded guilty during the trial to perverting the course of justice.
Good, of Velocity Towers, St Mary’s Gate burned out Cohen’s VW Golf used in the murder in a bid to destroy evidence.
He is due to be sentenced, along with Cohen, Bryan and Gordon later this month.
Cohen, of Bramwell Close, Netherthorpe also pleaded guilty to a count of perverting the course of justice during the trial, also relating to the destruction of his car.