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

Four men have been jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years for the "horrific" murders of two rappers who were stabbed and shot in a gang-related revenge attack in east London.

Saydi Abu Sheikh, 23, known as Giddy, and Zakariya Jeilani Mohamed, 31, who used the name Shifty, were killed in a house in Ilford on 25 October 2022.

Around 45 shots were fired and Mr Sheikh was "butchered" during the midnight raid which lasted just five minutes.

A third man, Khalid Khalid, was shot through the head but survived along with two more men who ran or hid.

The murders were organised by Zain Mirza in revenge for the killing of his 19-year-old brother in November 2019.

Prosecutor John Price KC said: "He was the one who most wanted it done. His motive was revenge."

Chibuike Ohanweh, 21, Ayaanle Adan, 20, Mahad Gouled, 22, carried out the attack, with Mirza nearby.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, they were all found guilty earlier this month of double murder, two charges of attempted murder and perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing them on Tuesday, Judge Mark Lucraft KC told them: "I'm entirely satisfied that the events were the culmination of a carefully planned retaliation attack for the killing of Mohammed Usman Mirza.

"You were each involved in planning and carrying out this horrific attack."

The judge noted a "chilling" remark as Mr Sheikh was attacked, with one saying: "He is not dead yet - finish him, stab him, kill him."

Ohanweh, from Romford, Adan, from Barking, Gouled, from Enfield, and Mirza, of Newham, were also handed life sentences for the attempted murders and six years for perverting the course of justice to run concurrently.

A fifth defendant, Zakarie Mohamad, 19, of Kensington, was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institute after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The attackers were caught on CCTV cameras outside the property and they were linked to the killings through DNA, jurors heard.

They had worn burkas to hide their identities when they set off for the attack from a "mission control" flat a couple of miles away.

They travelled to the murder scene in a stolen Mitsubishi Outlander which was set on fire minutes afterwards, destroying all but one of their discarded robes.

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Mr Sheikh was said to have been a key member of an Ilford gang called Drillford.

The defendants were linked to the rival Only Manor gang in Newham, the court was told.

The two east London gangs had been engaged in serious violence for around five years before the killings.

One of those convicted over the killing of Mirza's brother was "closely associated" with Mr Sheikh, jurors were told.