Bristol

Rico Gordon trial: Two men guilty of fatal shooting

Shakah Anderson, left, and Rickel Adams
Image caption Shakah Anderson, left, and Rickel Adams were both jailed for life

Two men from rival gangs murdered an innocent bystander during a gun battle in Bristol, a jury has ruled.

Rico Gordon, 21, of Notting Hill, west London, was killed on Stapleton Road, Easton, on 3 July 2011 after St Pauls Carnival in the city.

Shakah Anderson, 31, of no fixed address, and Rickel Adams, 27, of Neasden, north London, were found guilty of murder.

Both were given life sentences at Bristol Crown Court.

Jurors also found both men guilty of possession of a firearm.

Adams, of Janson Close, was also found guilty of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Isabell Brant, 19, and Hekekiah Davies, 22, who were also injured in the shooting.

Adams was ordered to serve a minimum of 35 years, and Anderson was ordered to serve at least 32 years.

'Very ugly incident'

The court heard that Mr Gordon died following a row between two rival groups from north west London in the Black Swan pub, in Stapleton Road.

Prosecutors alleged that Adams, Anderson and a third gunman - a close associate of Anderson who has never been identified - were responsible for the shootings.

Image caption Mrs Justice Sharp said the lives of Mr Gordon's family had been destroyed

The judge, Mrs Justice Sharp, said: "Gun crime has no place on the streets of Bristol and it has no place anywhere in a civilised society.

"At least 21 shots were fired by three gunmen; four people shot and one of them dead and two seriously injured.

"It is pure luck that more death and injury did not happen."

Mrs Justice Sharp said the offences were "significantly premeditated" and both men had easy access to firearms.

She said it was unclear what sparked the confrontation in the pub, but it developed into a "very ugly incident" of verbal abuse and threats of guns being used.

"The shocking nature of what happened next leaves me in no doubt that Anderson and Adams intended to kill," the judge said.

"No one who saw the CCTV of what happened on the streets of Bristol that night can be in any doubt."

None of the weapons has ever been recovered, the court heard.

Mrs Justice Sharp said the lives of Mr Gordon's family had been destroyed.

Detectives from Avon and Somerset Police worked closely with the Metropolitan Police's Operation Trident team to bring Anderson and Adams to justice.

Det Supt Sue Scott, from Avon and Somerset Police said: "This result is testament to the whole team - our own staff, the officers from the Met who worked with us on the inquiry and the Crown Prosecution Service but most of all Rico's family who have shown such courage in supporting our work throughout this investigation.

"This tragic incident goes to show the heartache that firearms can cause and the arrogance and disregard for life these gunmen had.

"Rico was an innocent man caught in the crossfire who lost his life needlessly by individuals who bought their guns and violence to Bristol from London."

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Media captionBoth men were given life sentences at Bristol Crown Court

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