Four men jailed for life for killing rappers in 'horrific' gang-related revenge attack

(Left to right) Ayaani Ali Adan, Zain Mirza, Mahad Gouled and Chibiuke Ohanweh have been jailed for life for the murders of Saydi Abu Sheikh and Zakariya Jeilani Mohamed. Credit: Met Police

Four men have been jailed for life for murdering two rappers who were fatally stabbed and shot in a "horrific" gang-style revenge attack.

Saydi Abu Sheikh, 23, and Zakariya Jeilani Mohamed, 31, were discovered with fatal injuries at a house in Ilford, ast London, on 25 October 2022.

A third man caught up in the attack was shot in the head and "left for dead" while a fourth man managed to escape.

Zain Mirza, 21, from Newham, Ayaanle Ali Adan, 20, from Barking, Mahad Gouled, 22, from Enfield and Chibiuke Ohanweh, 21, from Romford had denied all the charges.

hey were convicted of two counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

Now all have been jailed for life at the Old Bailey.

Saydi Abu Sheikh (pictured) was stabbed 28 times and shot four times while Zakariya was stabbed five times and shot at least seven times Credit: Met Police/PA

Mirza, had "procured" the murders in revenge for the killing of his 19-year-old brother Mohammed Usman Mirza in 2019, the trial heard.

One of those convicted over the killing was “closely associated” with Mr Sheikh, jurors were told.

At least 41 shots had been fired in the house, the court heard.

Mirza claimed he was in Manor Park dealing drugs and celebrating a friend’s birthday at the time of the killings while Ohanweh, Adan and Gouled also denied involvement.

The "murderous attack" involved four men with firearms who travelled to Henley Road, Ilford, in the white SUV, which had cloned registration plates, prosecutor John Price KC said.

The burned out car was later found on nearby Ronnie Lane a few minutes after the attack, together with clothing in the back of the vehicle which helped police identify the gunmen.

Mr Price had described a “scene of bloody carnage” which greeted police and paramedics called to Henley Road, Ilford.

He said: “In an upstairs room were two young men, both dead or dying. They had each been shot and stabbed many times.

“A third young man, gravely wounded, had been left for dead. Though he sustained a gunshot wound which had passed through his head, he was to survive.

“It was later discovered that a fourth man had run from the back of the house when a group of attackers armed with guns had forced their way in. He is lucky to have escaped with his life.”

A survivor, Ali Sheikh, later told police that a group of men had forced the door and fired twice, with one bullet grazing his shoulder.

Another man, Zachary Abdi, was upstairs and hid in the space between a bed and the wall to evade the attackers.

In the letter, the defendant’s father said: “No parent should have to bury their child. I speak from experience when I say it is the hardest thing any parent can do.”

Tom Forster KC, for Adan, acknowledged the murders were the “most appalling example of the most grotesque violence”.

But he said a report had confirmed Adan’s diagnosis of ADHD and suggested the defendant’s age and maturity as mitigating factors.

Stephen Kamlish KC, representing Mohamad, said the defendant had been “criminally exploited”, “humanly trafficked” and was a victim of modern slavery.

Following the sentencing, Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, who led the investigation, said: “The three men who entered the house were identified through forensic examination of the recovered clothing as Adan, Gouled and Ohanweh. Each was armed with a gun and at least 41 shots were fired inside the house.

“Zain Mirza facilitated the murder. He was linked to the gunmen after extensive police inquiries established that a rented address in Durham Road, Manor Park, had been used as a base to plan the murder.

“It is believed he planned the fatal attack as he understood at least one person present at the Henley Road address was in some way connected to the murder of his brother.”

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