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A 23-year-old man found guilty of attempted murder after he fired a gun three times in a “bustling city centre street” has been jailed for 25 years.
Judge Jonathan Gosling said that while he took Ahmed Hussein’s age into consideration, he had “proper basis” to conclude that the defendant was a dangerous offender following the incident which happened in Leicester city centre on 8 July last year.
Hussein had discharged the firearm during the early hours of the morning, pointing the gun in the direction of Granby Street where the victim was stood.
Witnesses had reported hearing gunshots in the area and seeing dust bouncing off the road near the victim while passers-by were forced to duck behind a car in the street in fear. Fortunately no-one was injured.
Sentencing Hussein at Stafford Crown Court today (3 April), the judge said the court must consider any harm that was caused, any harm that was intended to be caused or any harm that might foreseeably have been caused.
He said the case involved the defendant discharging a pistol in a “bustling city centre street” and that the reaction of passers-by “speaks for itself”.
He added: “There is a clear and obvious risk that any one of these bullets could have hit or killed or very seriously injured a completely innocent bystander. It is that risk which I have taken into account when assessing harm.”
He added that in determining the sentence, he was also including the factors of the weapon of choice, the fact that three separate shots were fired and that the defendant was a gang member.
He said: “The public being put at very serious risk must be included in the sentence as a significant element of deterrent.”
An investigation following the incident, which included hours of CCTV analysis, led to Hussein, of Chesterfield Road, Leicester, being arrested and charged.
Following a trial at the court, he was found guilty on 28 March of attempted murder and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Today (3 April) at the same court, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted murder. He was also sentenced to serve five years for possession of a firearm and 12 months for possession of ammunition. The sentences will be served concurrently making the total sentence one of 25 years imprisonment.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Tim Lindley said: “It is extremely fortunate that no-one was injured. Hussein’s actions could have caused serious harm and potentially had fatal consequences. He showed no regard for others around him, causing utmost fear by discharging a firearm three times in the street.
“Thanks to a full investigation which involved thorough accounts from witnesses and intense CCTV analysis we were able to trace Hussein and provide the evidence leading him to being found guilty of the offences. I would like to thank those that provided these accounts as well as all of the officers who worked extremely hard on this investigation to secure a successful conviction. It has meant a firearm is now off the streets and not in the hands of a criminal.
“Carrying and using any kind of weapon is extremely dangerous and puts lives at risk. We are continually working to remove them from our streets and urge anyone who has any information regarding a person being in possession of a weapon to report it to police immediately."
CCTV analysis from the incident showed that prior to the shooting, a man, later identified by officers to be Hussein, was coming and going from York Place, in York Street, at different times during the evening of 7 July and early hours of 8 July.
Hussein was then seen walking over to a white BMW vehicle in York Place just before 2.10am on 8 July before walking away from it and heading along York Street towards Granby Street.
The victim was in Granby Street when Hussein, in York Street, was seen to raise his arm and point it in the direction of Granby Street. Two flashes were seen on the CCTV before Hussein ran further up York Street, raising his arm again before a further flash was seen.
Witnesses reported that the victim appeared very agitated, shouting and waving his arms around and shouting in the direction of York Street. Hussein then passed the BMW before the vehicle, being driven by another person, appeared to speed towards the victim, reversed again at him and then drove off. Shortly before the shooting, the victim was seen to be involved in a confrontation with a man who was in the BMW car in Granby Street.
CCTV showed Hussein run away from the scene and get on a motorbike heading towards London Road and Evington Road. He was seen returning to York Place just after 4am the same morning, before later going out, getting a pizza and returning back to the property.
Further investigative work led to a spent firearms cartridge being recovered by an officer in York Street near to the junction with Granby Street. The firearm was later recovered in the West Midlands area. Hussein had denied having any involvement in the incident, denied being in the area on the night and said he couldn’t remember what he was doing at the time. He had also denied any knowledge of the firearm.