Five men have been convicted for their part in the murder by shooting of a man who was gunned down and killed using stolen vehicles and machete in the attack in North London.
The group were all involved in the planning and execution of the attack which resulted in the murder of 22-year-old Sharmake Mohamud in Green Lanes, N8 on 21 September 2021. Two other men were also injured in the shooting.
Ali Ceesay, 29, of no fixed address pleaded guilty on Tuesday, 21 February to murder and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
Following the conclusion of a trial at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 28 March, the following four people were found guilty of murder and two counts of GBH with intent:
- Mehdi Younes, 22, of Bowes Road, N11;
- Abdul Mohamed, 26, of Tottenhall Road, N13;
- Two males – both aged 17 – who cannot be named for legal reasons.
All five will be sentenced on a date to be set.
Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, led the investigation, and said: “This was a planned attack, the motivation for which is not entirely clear. However, the group set out that night with the intention of finding and doing serious harm to anyone they perceived to be from a rival group.
“The group drove to Green Lanes in a stolen car. Whether Sharmake was their intended target all along has not been established but when they saw him walking down the street they focused their lethal intent on him.”
The court heard how all five males congregated in an alleyway just over two miles away from the murder scene on 21 September 2021 – the day of the murder. Throughout the afternoon and evening various members of the group arrived at the location as preparation for the attack took place.
Shortly before 9:15pm, Rasit Musa was alleged to have driven a stolen Jaguar car to a nearby secluded carpark off Oakthorpe Road and left it there before returning to the others at the alleyway.
At around 9:25pm, a second stolen vehicle – a Ford Galaxy – arrived at the alleyway. Various members of the group handed their mobile phones to Mehdi Younes, who in turn passed over a large machete and black plastic bag containing a petrol can.
It was clear Younes would hang on to the phones so those carrying out the attack could not be linked to the crime scene.
Shortly before 10pm all members of the group – except Younes – got into the Ford Galaxy and were driven to where a stolen Jaguar was parked in a secluded carpark off Oakthorpe Road. They got into the Jaguar and drove around two miles down Green Lanes and parked up close to the junction with Fairfax Road.
At around 10:30pm, Sharmake was walking along the pavement. Ali Ceesay and one of the 17-year-olds [A] got out of the car and ran towards Sharmake with Ceesay discharging a handgun – Sharmake was struck at least twice with bullets.
Two other men who were in the vicinity were also struck by bullets, highlighting the chaotic nature of the attack.
After the shooting, both males jumped back into the car which was driven away. The group from the Jaguar returned to the alleyway and CCTV captured the two 17-year-olds [A and B] attempting to set light to latex gloves they had been wearing in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Younes was waiting for them and returned their phones. Upon receiving his mobile telephone from Younes, Abdul Mohamed made a telephone call after which the group embraced in what can only be interpreted as an act of celebration following the attack.
The Jaguar was driven to a service road off Oakthorpe Road where an attempt was made to set it alight. This was only partially successful, and when the police recovered the car, incriminating items were found inside. These included a tracksuit with A’s DNA on it, which also had traces of gunshot residue, a partially burnt pair of trainers with A’s DNA on them, and a machete sheath.
A number of latex gloves were found near the car fire scene, and they contained the DNA of Ceesay and Mohamed. A disposable facemask containing Ceesay’s DNA was also found in the same location.
On September 23, 2021, the Ford Galaxy, which had been used to transport members of the group, was stopped after being seen to drive erratically on Crofts Lane, N9. Although the police were unaware of its involvement in Sharmake’s murder at this point, they found that the car was on false plates and seized it. Those inside, including A and B, were arrested.
Meanwhile, Ceesay had travelled to Gambia but was arrested on his return to the UK on October 27, 2021. He could offer no reasonable explanation for the presence of his DNA at the scene where the Jaguar had been set alight or for his movements when shown various CCTV clips. He was subsequently charged with Sharmake’s murder and the attempted murder of two other men.
DCI Jolley, added: “This was a meticulous investigation which used a combination of forensic evidence, phone work and CCTV tracking to conclusively prove the role all five had in this violent attack.
“While Ceesay was the person who fired the fatal shots, all five were implicitly involved in the murder. None of them can deny that they knew the intent that night was to cause serious harm to someone and they all played their part in the fatal outcome.
“Sharmake’s family have been devastated by his murder and have shown tremendous strength and courage to support this investigation. I can only hope that these convictions will bring them some small sense of justice.”
+ Rasit Musa was acquitted of the same offences and the jury were unable to reach a verdict with regards a third 17-year-old male.