30 year jail sentence for Leeds drug gang ‘enforcer’ known as ‘Meathead’

Luke Callaghan.

Luke Callaghan.

A drug gang ‘enforcer’ who blasted a rival with a sawn-off shotgun during a dispute over money before going to a party has been given a 30 year sentence.

Luke Callaghan – known to his gang as ‘Meathead’ – was given a 30-year sentence yesterday after being convicted of attempted murder.

The 22-year-old was told he will be aged at least 42 before he is allowed to apply for parole.

Victim Adeel Ahmed was left with 80 pellet wounds to his chest, back and neck after being shot by Callaghan in the Harehills area of Leeds in August last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the shooting was likely to be linked to drugs and someone associated with Mr Ahmed may have owed money to Callaghan’s gang.

Mr Ahmed was shot after being confronted by Callaghan who was with a group of other men in a BMW at 11.45pm on August 6 last year.

Half an hour earlier Callaghan’s gang had been armed with machete’s when they confronted a group Mr Ahmed was with on Nice View, but they were overpowered.

Callaghan returned with the firearm and shot Mr Ahmed in Sandhurst Terrace, from a distance of about ten feet. Callaghan then left to go to a party with his friends

Armed police executed a searched warrant at a house on Brander Street, Gipton, around 90 minutes after the shooting.

The court heard that the Brander Street address was the centre of Callaghan’s gang’s drug dealing operation.

Callaghan was described as the “muscle” for enforcing the gang’s debts.

Callaghan, who was in possession of a knife, was arrested along with others at the property. Around half a kilogramme of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin were seized from the address.

Callaghan, of Lupton Avenue, Harehills, was found guilty of attempted murder and three offences of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply after a trial.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, conspiracy to supply class A drugs and two offences of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.

Mr Ahmed was unable to work for five months after the attack and it has not been possible to remove many of the pellets from his body.

The weapon used in the attack has never been recovered and may still be in use on the street of Leeds.

Callaghan was told he will be aged 42 before he is allowed to apply for parole. He must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison followed by an extended licence period of ten years.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “The attempted murder was premeditated and planned. I am quite sure your animosity towards Adeel Ahmed was your perceived need to enforce a drug debt.

“Having been chased away by him you armed yourself, you arranged transport and sought him out.

“Having found him you shot him without mercy in the back.

“After that you went to a party. You have shown absolutely no remorse.”

Four others connected to Callaghan are due to be sentenced for drugs offences at a later date.

After the case Detective Chief Inspector Warren Stephenson, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Callaghan was heavily involved in the supply of drugs and was prepared to shoot the victim at close range with a sawn-off shotgun in an apparent row over money. His actions could easily have had fatal consequences.

“The very significant sentence he has received should serve as a stark reminder to those who think they can deal drugs and use firearms to settle their scores.

“Information from the local community played a key part in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion and we are very grateful to those who assisted us.

“We will continue to do all we can to target the criminal use of firearms on the streets and protect our communities from dangerous offenders like Callaghan.”

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