Keal Richards, Jaydn Manners and Tremaine Wisdom were today given life sentences over the broad daylight killing of 19-year-old Raheem Wilks.Mr Wilks - brother of Leeds United footballer Mallik Wilks - was shot at Too Sharps barbers, Gathorne Terrace, Chapeltown, on January 26 this year.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard the trio carried out the killing as Mr Wilks was in a rival drug dealing gang known at The Flock.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Spencer, who led the investigation, said: “Raheem Wilks was murdered in cold blood in the middle of the day in what was clearly a planned and targeted attack.
“The men convicted of this utterly appalling crime went there with the firm intention of shooting and killing him, with total disregard for anybody who may have been present nearby.
“Raheem had made certain choices in his life, which sadly took him into a world of criminality. This in no way condones what happened to him.
“As a young man of nineteen he had everything to live for. He was a son, a brother, and a father to a little boy, who sadly will have to grow up without his dad. Raheem’s family are completely devastated that he has been taken from them so suddenly in these violent circumstances.
“The men responsible have received life sentences with significant minimum terms and, although nothing will ever compensate Raheem’s family for the pain and loss they are going through, we hope they can take some small measure of comfort from seeing these men brought to justice.
“Raheem’s senseless murder at just the young age of nineteen very starkly illustrates the tragic consequences of the criminal use of firearms by those involved in the organised supply of drugs.
“This is not a music video or posting on YouTube. This is real life and it is completely unacceptable. The law-abiding majority within this community do not accept this as a culture. That community need to feel assured that when their teenage son or daughter goes out for the evening, they can do so confident in the knowledge they will come to no harm.
“The drugs trade and the violence that goes with it has a negative impact on the daily lives of people in this and other communities in the city, and the police and our partner agencies will keep doing everything we can to tackle it to help other families avoid the senseless loss of life we have seen in this case.
“This was an incredibly difficult, protracted investigation, frustrated to some extent by the reluctance of eye-witnesses, through fear of violence, to give evidence or information to the police. Consequently the investigation team have had to sift through days and days of data to identify and capture evidence which, with the support of the Crown Prosecution Service, has led to the successful conviction of these men.”