Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield shooting trial: Three men found guilty of murder

Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption (L-R) Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan were found guilty of murder after a trial

Three men have been found guilty of shooting dead a 23-year-old as he sat in his car outside his sister's engagement party.

Matthew Cohen, 29, Dale Gordon, 33, and Keil Bryan, 32, were convicted of murdering Aseel Al-Essaie following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mr Al-Essaie was shot at point blank range on Daniel Hill, Sheffield, on 18 February 2017.

The three men, all from Sheffield, will be sentenced on 27 April.

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Aseel Al-Essaie, 23, died after being shot in February 2017

The trial, which began on 21 February, has taken place amid tight security.

Armed police officers have been stationed inside the court building each day and members of the public have been searched and made to walk though a knife arch to gain access to the courtroom itself.

Mr Al-Essaie was shot when a Volkswagen Golf, driven by Cohen, drew alongside his car and one of the two passengers - Gordon, of St Phillips Road, and Bryan, of Brackley Street - fired a single bullet into his shoulder.

The bullet punctured his lung, heart and abdomen and caused massive internal bleeding.

Image caption Mr Al-Essaie was shot dead as he sat in his car on Daniel Hill, Sheffield

Mr Al-Essaie's brother, Ali, who had been sitting in another vehicle just yards away, took him to hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ali Al-Essaie told jurors he had seen the barrel of an "old cowboy" gun appear at the window of the Golf and then heard the shot before the vehicle sped off.

He said he went to his brother's aid as he clambered out of the vehicle.

"I tried to talk to but he was not talking," he said.

"He was making these weird noises. I think he was already gone."

Prosecutors said while Gordon was the probable shooter "all three are equally guilty of murder".

The Volkswagen was later found about four miles away in Grenoside, where it had been dumped and set alight by accomplice James Good, 29, on Cohen's instructions.

Cohen, of Bramwell Close, and Good, of Ringstead Crescent, who will also be sentenced on 27 April, pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice during the trial.

Cohen told jurors he had been driving the Golf when his front seat passenger shot Mr Al-Essaie but refused to say who was in the car at the time.

Det Ch Insp Steve Whittaker said: "I hope Mr Al-Essaie's family are able to take some solace from today's outcome, knowing justice has finally been served.

"This has been a complex and lengthy investigation."

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