Drugs gang trio jailed for life for 'cold-blooded murder' in Yorkshire
A Sheffield Crown Court trial heard how Jabari Fanty, Aaron Yanbak and Ricardo Nkanyezi were found guilty by a jury of murdering 20-year-old Ramey Salem at a flat on Grimesthorpe Road South, Burngreave, Sheffield, on November 16, 2020.
Stephen Wood QC, prosecuting, had previously told the jury that the case involved drug-dealing, guns and gangs and the ruthless lengths gangs will go to in order to protect their turf.
The judge, Mr Justice James Goss QC, told the defendants during a sentencing hearing on June 29: “There can be no doubt these events arise out of rivalries or disputes between different groups and gangs of drug-dealers.”
He said: “This is a case where two semi-automatic handguns were taken to a scene and discharged at close range at the victim.”
Mt Justice Goss added: “It was planned, cold-blooded murder.”
Prosecuting barrister Mr Wood said the mortally-wounded Ramey Salem was driven to the Northern General Hospital in a Toyota Corolla by another man but despite efforts to save his life he was pronounced dead soon afterwards.
A pathologist found Mr Salem had sustained multiple gun-shot wounds to the heart, lungs and liver and the injury to his heart would have been sufficient to cause death.
Mr Wood said a ballistics expert suggested Mr Salem was shot at least five times, with two shots fired in the lounge before he had fled into the hallway and bathroom where further shots were fired.
He added the expert believes the recovered cartridges revealed there were most likely two firearms involved and they were possibly converted from blank-firing pistols.
Fanty, Yanbak and another defendant, Jordan Foote, were also found guilty of the attempted murder of Ali al-Humakaini a month earlier after he was shot at Osgathorpe Park, Burngreave, Sheffield, on October 31, 2020.
Mr Wood claimed ballistics from a gun fired in the lounge during Mr Salem’s murder indicated this weapon had also been used during the attempted murder of Ali al-Humakaini.
Mr al-Humakaini said he had approached three males after he had thought they were lighting fireworks before a gun was fired at him.
Mr Wood said Mr al-Humakaini made a 999 call saying he had been shot five times and he was found by police on a path and required emergency surgery.
He claimed the same gun was used in a shooting on November 2, 2020, in Rotherham, after Yanbak and Nkanyezi had allegedly been pursued by a 4x4 vehicle.
The ballistics from the second gun in the Ramey Salem murder was also linked it to a firearms incident on October 19, 2020, at Longley Avenue West, Shirecliffe, involving the occupant of a VW Golf shooting at the occupants of a Seat Leon car.
Foote also allegedly fled from a stolen BMW car with others at Walkley Street, Sheffield, during another incident, according to Mr Wood, before officers recovered a handgun, drugs and cash in the vehicle.
Mr Wood said these defendants were members of a gang and a drug-dealing operation in the Longley, Burngreave and Pitsmoor areas of Sheffield which also extended from South Yorkshire into Chesterfield and Mansfield.
Police also found alleged drug dealing paraphernalia at Foote’s home and the handgun linked to the BMW was examined and possible DNA matches were found linked to Fanty and another man.
Following Fanty’s arrest, Mr Wood said he was allegedly found to have a knife, two mobile phones a ballistic vest, a baton, masks, scales with traces of drugs and Nike trainers said to match a footprint from the murder scene.
Mr Wood said when Yanbak was arrested a firearms magazine was allegedly recovered and gunshot residue was found on his clothing, and Nkanyezi was allegedly found with a bag with drugs and a gun in a rucksack.
Fanty, aged 20, of Broadhead Road, Stocksbridge, was also found guilty of: conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of A and having an article with a blade or point.
Nkanyezi, aged 20, of Morgan Avenue, Parson Cross was also found guilty of: conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A and possessing a prohibited firearm.
Yanbak, aged 20, of Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, was also found guilty of: conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A.
Jordan Foote, also aged 20, of Basegreen Road, Basegreen, was also found guilty of: conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life; and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A.
A further defendant, Samsul Mohammed, aged 20, of Wolseley Road, Highfield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life.
And a further defendant Salma Shazad, aged 20, of Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, admitted: conspiring to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life; conspiring to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life and conspiring to supply a controlled drug of Class A.
Mr Justice Goss said: “In their totality, the offences represented a brazen and determined use of firearms in both public places and in a home in the furtherance of drug-dealing and rivalry.”
He sentenced Fanty, Yanbak, Foote and Nkanyezi to detention in a Young Offender Institution.
Fanty and Yanbak were sentenced to custody for life with a minimum term of 35 years of detention each. Nkanyezi was sentenced to custody for life with a minimum term of 32 years of detention and Foote was sentenced to 30 years of detention.
Samsul Mohammed, who has also been convicted of another murder by shooting, will be sentenced at a later date.
Shazad will be sentenced on June 30.