Six men jailed for more than a century for 'shocking' Bedford shooting

Six men have been jailed after a shooting in which it was 'by the grace of God' no-one was killed, according to the judge
Six men have been jailed after a shooting in which it was 'by the grace of God' no-one was killed, according to the judge

Six men have been jailed more than 100 years after a violent gang battle which turned Bedford into 'a scene more reminiscent of Chicago in the 1920s'.

Bedfordshire Police launched a major investigation after reports of a drive-by shooting in Faraday Square on July 8 last year.

Pictured top, a shotgun recovered from the property of Shuheb Ali, left, shotgun cartridges found in Romsey Way, and right, the ammunition

Pictured top, a shotgun recovered from the property of Shuheb Ali, left, shotgun cartridges found in Romsey Way, and right, the ammunition

A woman was shot in the arm during the conflict, and required surgery, and during the night two gangs continued to fire retaliation shots against each other, with four properties being shot at in total.

Following a large amount of arrests and charges on members of both gangs, six of those men have been sentenced to a combined total of 119 years - following a hearing at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The men

Mohammed Waez, 21, of Lovell Road, Bedford, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and possession of a machine pistol. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Clockwise from top left: Mohammed Waez, Abul Faiz, Shuheb Ali, Tavon Carter, Kierran Hall, Ryan Cockings

Clockwise from top left: Mohammed Waez, Abul Faiz, Shuheb Ali, Tavon Carter, Kierran Hall, Ryan Cockings

Abul Faiz, 21, of Collie Road, Bedford, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, possession of a machine pistol and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Shuheb Ali, 19, of Ashmead Road, Bedford, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, possession of a sawn-off shotgun, possession of a machine pistol and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Kierran Hall, 21, of Grange Close, Houghton Conquest was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, possession of a shotgun and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Tavon Carter, 20, of Romsey Way, Bedford was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun, and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Ryan Cockings, 19, of Whitby Bay, Bedford was found guilty of conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, possession of a shotgun and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A seventh man, Abdul Kadir, 35, of Salmon Lane, London was found guilty earlier this year of conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, possession of a Skorpian machine pistol and possession of a sawn-off shotgun in relation to the same incident. He awaits sentencing in December.

Waez, Ali, Faiz, and Kadir were convicted following a trial at Luton Crown Court in August; while Cockings, Hall and Carter were convicted a month later at the same court.

Reaction

During the sentencing His Honour Judge Lithman said: “The fact no-one was killed was by the grace of God. The gangs turned the streets of Bedford into a scene more reminiscent of Chicago in the 1920s.”

He described the guns used in the shooting as being “the like of which should never be seen on the streets of Great Britain.”

Detective Chief Inspector Will Hawkes said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation into what was a truly shocking course of events one summer night last year.

“Over the course of one night two gangs engaged in a violent battle against each other and it is extremely lucky no-one died.

“These are very dangerous men who had no qualms about inflicting serious harm, and even death, on each other in order to defend their other gang members.

“We absolutely will not tolerate this in Bedfordshire and we’re working hard with our partner agencies to tackle gang related and firearms criminality.

“This should act as a lesson to others that if you use a firearm to cause harm, violence, or intimidation in our county then you will be caught and made to pay with a significant spell in jail.”