Dior Jackson, Ihsaan Bernard, Omarni Bernard-Sewell and Ayuub Mahmood had denied conspiring to murder Dante Mullings in May 2019.
They were they found guilty of conspiracy to murder and possessing a gun with intent to endanger life at Birmingham Crown Court in February − and yesterday (9 April) they were all given life jail terms.
The minimum period they will spend behind bars was set at:
- Jackson – 29 years
- Bernard – 29 years
- Bernard-Sewell – 29 years
- Mahmoud – 26 years
Dante Mullings was in a car parked by shops in St Vincent Street West, Ladywood, at 5pm on 7 May 2019 when a gunman opened fired from a passing vehicle.
At least eight shots were discharged from a pistol aimed out of the VW Passat’s passenger window.
One bullet struck Mr Mullings in the lower back and, despite CCTV showing him sprint from the car and hurdle roadside barriers, he collapsed seconds later having suffered fatal internal injuries.
Two other passengers also suffered gunshot wounds but survived the attack.
The Passat, which was stolen and displaying cloned number plates, was found on fire in Duddeston Manor Road, Nechells, later that night.
Bernard and Bernard-Sewell − both prominent Birmingham gang members − orchestrated the murder plot in revenge for a serious stabbing less than 24 hours earlier that left a friend critically ill in hospital.
Our detectives undertook a painstaking trawl of CCTV to track the Passat at various points throughout the day including the area of Great Hampton Row immediately after the murder.
Footage shows 20-year-old Jackson walk from the direction of the Passat into a block of flats wearing a grey hoody and re-emerge minutes later having changed tops.
Further CCTV and phone enquiries implicated Bernard and Bernard-Sewell.
Detectives discovered Mahmood contacted Hockley Car Spares on the day of the murder and collected the Passat’s cloned number plates from the Hamstead Road business at 2.20pm on the day of the murder.
We raided the site on 3 July and recovered a machete, cloned number plates and laptop software used to create registration plates.
Bernard-Sewell, aged 24, was arrested from his home in Sturge Close, Selly Oak, on 16 July while Bernard (21) from Anerley Road, Kingstanding, was detained at Birmingham Airport later that day as he arrived on a flight from Amsterdam.
Dior Jackson (20) from Waddington Avenue, Great Barr, surrendered to us the following day and 19-year-old Mahmood, from Lozells Street, was arrested during a dawn raid on 7 August.
The murder weapon − a 9mm self-loading pistol was found in a bag hidden in bushes in Charter Street, Leicester on 4 November 2019. The gun was loaded with one bullet, plus eight other rounds were alongside it in the satchel.
It was examined by ballistics experts and shown to have fired the rounds that killed Dante Mullings − and was also linked to four other firearms discharges in Birmingham during 2018.
One of those was a shooting in Wheeler Street, Newtown, on 16 November 2018, for which Mahmoud was also found guilty.
Detective Inspector Hannah Whitehouse, said: “The shooting was prompted by a stabbing the previous day. The defendants were all friends or associates of the victim and made a pact to exact revenge.
“However, neither Dante Mullings nor the other two men in the car were involved in the knife attack. We don’t think they were specifically targeted but that the defendants drove around Ladywood searching for anyone associated to the group.
“Unfortunately for Dante, they came across him and his friends first.
“We know Dior Jackson was in the VW Passat at the time alongside another man. We weren’t able to prove who pulled the trigger − but we were able to show this group plotted together to carry out the shooting. And therefore they were jointly liable.
“We have dedicated police units in Birmingham to tackle gangs and organised crime; we will pursue anyone who chooses gang life and causes fear and harm in our communities.
“But for those who want to step away from gangs we can help. We work with partners to support anyone wanting to sever ties with gangs and get them on the path to a more fulfilling life.”
A 16-year-old boy was also charged with conspiracy to murder Dante Mullings and is set to stand trial on 17 May this year.
Two other man Mohammed Qadir (20) from Dunsink Road, Aston, and 26-year-old Wasim Hussain from Gerard Street in Lozells were both cleared by a jury of involvement in the murder plot.