Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham riots: Four guilty of shooting at police

Four people have been convicted of shooting at police officers during last summer's riots in Birmingham.

A fire was started at the Bartons Arms pub in Aston before the men blockaded the nearby A34 and fired at police. The force's helicopter was also shot at.

They had deliberately lured officers to the scene to attack them, police said.

Tyrone Laidley, 20, Nicholas Francis, 26, of Birmingham, Renardo Farrell, 20, of Wolverhampton, and a boy, 17, were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court.

The men had denied riot, reckless arson and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life. Joyah Campbell, 19, of Hanover Court, Aston, in Birmingham, was cleared of the same charges.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, was convicted of riot and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.

'Four guns present'

Jurors are still deliberating on verdicts for three others.

Image caption Tyrone Laidley, Renardo Farrell and Nicholas Francis were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court

During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Lockhart QC told the court that the helicopter had been shot at by Laidley, of Chadsmoor Terrace, Nechells, in the early hours of 10 August.

Footage showed a man appear to drop to one knee by a car in Clifton Close, Aston, and point a gun at the helicopter, he said.

It was targeted after 12 shots were fired at police called to an arson attack on the Bartons Arms.

As many as four guns were present, Mr Lockhart said.

No officers were hurt in the incident. The shots went above and below them, the court heard.

The group broke into the Grade II listed pub and started several small fires before stealing the cash till.

People were asleep inside the pub at the time but the fires were put out without anyone being hurt.

The A34 dual carriageway was blocked with tables and chairs taken from the pub and a nearby nightclub.

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