Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan were jailed for life earlier today for murdering 23-year-old Sheffield man, Aseel Al-Essaie in a shocking drive-by shooting that was carried out in broad daylight.
Speaking as her son's killers were put behind bars for a combined total of 90 years, Aseel's mum, Aneasa Al-Essaie said: “No sentence will ever reflect the pain and heartache these senseless cowards have inflicted upon my family. We will never come to terms with the loss and we will never be able to resume the life we once had."
She added: “Aseel was an intelligent, funny, loving young man with an enchanting charisma. Everyone that knew him loved him. He was always optimistic, joyous and he had an infectious smile. He was the only person capable of making you laugh through your darkest of moments.
“He was the most compassionate person I knew, always seeing the good in people and devoting his life to helping others. He was the son that every mother could have wished for.
On February 18 2017, our lives changed forever. On that day, we were robbed in the worst possible way. Our family was wrecked. Aseel was taken from us at such a young age. Murdered by selfish cowards in broad daylight, on the very day he was due to attend his younger sister’s engagement party.
“They took his life without any respect, or regard to the impact that this would have to our family and friends. When the doctor told me that Aseel had died, I felt numb, paralysed and confused. I did not believe what they were saying. I couldn’t comprehend that he was gone and I was adamant that they had made a mistake.
“Even over a year later, I am still haunted by this recurring nightmare. I have lost the feeling of happiness and cannot remember the last time I smiled or enjoyed anything. I have lost not only my son but also my best friend, my confidant and my hopes and dreams. No mother should ever have to bury her son. No mother should have to ensure the agony and suffering I have been through. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. The loss to our family is inconceivable. It is beyond words or comprehension. Our lives have been turned upside down. Our pain and suffering will be endless. This barbaric act has destroyed the life of our whole family and the lives of the people who knew and loved Aseel.
“Aseel will always be in our hearts and payers. His values and attitudes will live on through us, and we will always remember how lucky we were to have him in our lives for the time that we did.”
Cohen, Gordon and Bryan were found unanimously guilty of Mr Al-Essaie's murder, following a seven week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Their sentences were as follows:
- Cohen, 29, of Clough View Road, Oughtibridge was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of xx years
- Gordon, 33, of Benty Lane, Crosspool was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of xx years
- Bryan, 32, of Brackley Street, Burngreave was jailed for life to serve a minimum of xx years
In the months following Mr Al-Essaie's death, Sheffield artist, Ben Gourvenec painted on the wall of the on the wall of the Red Monkey tattoo studio, located on the same road Mr Al-Essaie was fatally shot, to demonstrate the impact his death had on the local community.
Cohen, Bryan and Gordon were found to have killed Mr Al-Essaie as part of a 'joint-enterprise,' which took the form of a drive-by shooting using Cohen's VW Golf vehicle.
The court heard how Mr Al-Essaie was shot at point-blank range as he sat alone in a stationary white Mercedes on Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe.
It is unclear who fired the fatal shot, which did not need to be proven in order to return a guilty verdict, but Cohen is believed to have been the driver.