Two men who fired three gunshots at a house full of innocent people in an apparent case of mistaken identity have been jailed for a combined total of 22 years following an investigation by the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command.
Junaid Shakoor, 25 and of Wandsworth, and Sohail Amin, 25 and of Croydon, were both sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday September 12 to eight years each for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and three years each for possession of ammunition without a certificate. Both men’s sentences will run concurrently.
On Saturday February 11, police were called at approximately 2.30am by the occupants of an address in Eswyn Road, Wandsworth, reporting that shots had been fired at the premises.
Police arrived at the scene and spoke to a female resident who described being approached by a hooded man as she was smoking a cigarette in her garden. He got out of a blue hatchback car and had his hand behind his back.
The man asked her where she was going; she replied that she was going indoors and went inside. She then heard three loud bangs and someone shouting to the man from the vehicle.
At the scene, officers from the Trident and Area Crime Command discovered a bullet had entered the address through the glass of a front bay window and embedded itself into an internal wall, while another was found to have struck a stationary vehicle parked opposite. A third bullet casing was discovered in the front garden. Six people had been present inside the property at the time.
While officers carried out an investigation at the house, they noticed a blue Ford Focus drive towards the crime scene and stop suddenly before reversing at speed away from the location. A description of the vehicle was circulated immediately via local radio channels and, a short time later, it was pursued by officers into a neighbouring street before both the driver and passenger decamped from the vehicle.
The driver, Shakoor, was detained by officers nearby following a struggle. Shakoor was seen to attempt to discard latex gloves which were recovered, partially ripped, on the ground next to where he was eventually detained.
The passenger, Amin, was seen to make off and discard an item from his left hand, on which he appeared to be wearing a blue glove. A pursuing officer described hearing a loud ‘clunk’ sound as the item was thrown.
Amin was quickly detained after being found hiding nearby. Officers from the Met’s Dog Support Unit arrived to conduct a search after tracing Amin’s route and recovered a small handgun, which was clearly visible on the ground near a metal railing.
The handgun, after being examined and made safe, was found to be a 9mm Baikal self-loading short calibre firearm, prohibited under the Firearms Act 1968. It contained a magazine with a quantity of cartridges which were visible.
Both Shakoor and Amin denied any knowledge of the incident or the firearm and gave mixed accounts for their presence in the area and why they had fled from police.
Shakoor denied resisting arrest and stated he had latex gloves with him due to having worked on his vehicle earlier in the day. Amin claimed he had thrown a bag of cannabis over the metal railing.
However a picture of Amin with a gun, believed to be the same as the one fired, was discovered on his mobile phone and gunshot residue was recovered on an item of clothing belonging to Shakoor.
Both men were charged and both pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of ammunition without a certificate at Kingston Crown Court on Monday July 31, 2017.
None of the people in the address at the time the firearm was discharged had any links to criminality or gang crime and so officers believe the premises was targeted mistakenly. It is not known who may have been the intended target.
Both the firearm and the ammunition were destroyed.
DC Andy Brackley, of the Trident and Area Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: “We are glad to see Shakoor and Amin have received custodial sentences for this callous offence against a group of innocent people who were left fearing for their lives because of this needless attack. It was as brazen as it was exceptionally dangerous. Given the number of people present, but for sheer luck, this could have easily been a murder investigation.
“The Trident and Area Crime Command takes all reports of gun crime very, very seriously. We would urge anyone who suspects someone of possessing a firearm to tell the police immediately to prevent offences such as this from happening.”