Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Shocking footage shows men taking aim at a rival gang but instead hitting children innocently playing in a playground as they sped off in a stolen vehicle. 

Three men were found guilty of attempted murder after two children were hit with bullets in a playground when they fired shots at a rival group.

Kian Durnin, Martino De-Sousa and Tireq McIntosh were all in a stolen Ford Focus from which shots were fired towards a girl aged 11 and a 15-year-old boy as they played in Shelley Road, Wolverhampton, on May 1 this year.

Prosecutors said that the children were in the line of fire of a “murderous” feud between rival groups, which then triggered a high-speed car chase through the city “straight from the movie director’s script”.

Det Insp Francis Nock, from the Major Crime Team, said: “At least six shots were fired and it’s by sheer luck that these two children weren’t more seriously injured or killed. 

“Thankfully, they have both made recoveries from their physical wounds. But this has left their families shattered.

“We may never know who the intended targets were, or why the shooting happened, but we believe it involved tensions between gangs in the Wolverhampton area, and may be connected to illegal drugs.

“This was a cowardly attack by men who had no hesitation in firing deadly guns next to a children’s playground.”

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were shown CCTV footage of Durnin, the driver of the car, and McIntosh, in the front seat, both leaning out of the window and firing shots towards members of a rival group, with De-Sousa in the back seat.

Durnin, 22, of Milton Road, De-Sousa, 24, of Deansfield Road, and McIntosh, 23, of Valley Road, all in Wolverhampton, were all convicted of attempting to murder a person unknown and aggravated vehicle-taking after more than 28 hours of deliberation by jurors.

The trial heard that both children, who cannot be identified due to a court order, were hit in the leg by bullets but recovered after being treated in hospital.

Durnin and McIntosh both denied being in the Ford Focus at the time of the shooting, which prosecutors said then led to an armed high-speed chase involving rivals in a Mini Cooper, who were the intended targets of the shooting.

A man on an electric bike, a Peugeot and a Seat Leon then joined the chase through north-east Wolverhampton.

A shot fired from one of the chasing vehicles blew out the Focus’ back windscreen and was found lodged in the headrest.

Prosecutor Tim Cray KC told jurors that while the motive of the shooting remained unknown, the injuries to the children were a consequence of a “planned attack on rivals, caring absolutely nothing for the public”, caused by a feud between “two armed groups existing cheek by jowl with each other”.

The judge thanked the jury for listening to the evidence “with care” and invited them to return to court to watch the sentencing next week if they wished.

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