Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham riots: Jermaine Lewis convicted over police shooting

A 27-year-old man has been convicted of firearms possession after police officers were shot at during last summer's riots in Birmingham.

Jermaine Lewis, of Summerton Road in Oldbury in the West Midlands, was also found guilty of reckless arson and riot at Birmingham Crown Court.

Five others have already been convicted of the same charges after 12 shots were fired at police in August.

The West Midlands force helicopter was also shot at.

Tyrone Laidley, 20, Nicholas Francis, 26, of Thetford Road, Great Barr in Birmingham, Renardo Farrell, 20, of The Terrace, Finchfield in Wolverhampton and Wayne Collins, 25, from Ouseley Close in Luton, Bedfordshire, were all convicted of riot, reckless arson and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.

Arson attack

A teenager, 17, who cannot be named, was convicted of riot and firearms offences but cleared of arson.

They will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday.

Image caption Lewis was part of the group that fired at police

Joyah Campbell, 19, of Hanover Court, Aston, in Birmingham and another 17-year-old were cleared of the same charges.

The court heard during the trial that the force helicopter had been shot at by Laidley, of Chadsmoor Terrace, Nechells, in the early hours of 10 August.

Police footage showed a man appear to drop to one knee by a car in Clifton Close, Aston, and point a gun at the helicopter, prosecutor Andrew Lockhart QC said.

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

Small fires were started at the Grade II-listed pub but put out without anyone being hurt.

'Blocking carriageway'

Furniture was taken outside and from a nearby nightclub and used to blockade the A34, a main route in and out of the city, in what police said was a deliberate attempt to lure officers to the scene and attack them.

As many as four guns were present during the incident, Mr Lockhart added.

The shots went above and below officers but West Midlands Police said it could have easily become a murder investigation.

Senior investigating officer Det Insp Andy Bannister said: "It was pre-orchestrated with a view to creating an incident which we would say was setting fire to the Bartons Arms pub with complete disregard to the residents upstairs before blocking the carriageway to draw police officers there and attack them.

"It's completely distinct from any other experience that I've had where police officers arrive and individuals ditch their weapons or run away."

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