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'It was like the Wild West' - Thugs fired shotgun at rival gang after stabbing

By John Scott | Whitmore Reans | Crime | Published:

Two armed thugs who turned a Wolverhampton street into a ‘scene from the Wild West’ by firing a shotgun at rival gang members were each starting 14-year jail sentences today.

Left, Okeem Smith and, right, Mohammed Jarral

Okeem Smith, aged 21, and 23-year-old Mohammed Jarral struck in a revenge attack after their friend – Kyle Hamilton – was knifed six times in broad daylight in Whitmore Reans.

Jarral was with the victim when the stabbing took place on March 3 in Lowes Street, the city’s Crown Court heard.

The defendant took the badly injured man to a local medical centre before making a phone call that brought Smith running to the scene.

He and Jarrad left together in a VW Golf and parked close to an alley that led to nearby Devoran Close where a man suspected of involvement in the stabbing lived.

They walked into the street with the intention of confronting the suspect but found they were outnumbered and fled – only to return five minutes later armed with a shotgun which they loaded.

The pair took two spare cartridges and left three more in the car.

Devoran Close

Smith raised the gun and fired at least once, possibly twice, at the men who were still standing in the street barely 20 minutes after the stabbing, the court heard during their trial.

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Amazingly no-one was hurt in the attack, CCTV footage of which was shown to the jury during the trial.

The two left after a row with one of the other men but Smith returned not long afterwards after police had been alerted, the court heard.

Armed officers found 10 young men gathered in Devoran Close.

Two escaped but the rest were ordered to lie on the ground before being arrested. These included Smith. Jarral was detained a month later.

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Smith, of no fixed abode, and Jarral from Austin Street, Whitmore Reans, denied being involved in the shooting but the jury found them guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Judge Amjad Nawaz told them as he passed sentence on Wednesday: “You played out a scene that turned the streets of the city of Wolverhampton into something close to the Wild West.

"Firearms used in this way have only one purpose and that is to maim, kill or, at the very least, terrorise.

“This was more than an innocent coming together.

“There is an element of gangsterism and long sentences have to be passed to stamp that out.”

Police inquiries continue into the stabbing of Mr Hamilton.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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