Seven Jailed for 66 Years for Gun Attack

After reluctant drug runner was punished by gang

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Seven young men, aged between 18 and 24, were sentenced last week to a total of over 66 years at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court for their part in the shooting and vicious assault of an 18 year old man in October 2006.

Raoul Hines, 23 of Flat 224, Lea Court, Emlyn Gardens, London, W12; Richard Matthews, 20 of Flat 148, Jerome Tower, Osborne Road, London, W3; Gerard Thomas O' Loughlin, 22 of Flat 13, Carisbrooke Court, Brouncker Road, London, W3; Ramoon Rahimi, 22 of No 85,Brouncker Road, London, W3; Ashley Boswell, 22 of Flat 9, Griffin Court, Bloemfontein Road, W12; Luke Powell, 18, of No. 57B, Kingswood Road, London, W4; Ajamu Preddie-Clarke, 24, of 170c, Bollo Bridge Road, London, W3 were all found guilty of GBH with intent by use of a firearm, possession of a handgun and possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. O' Loughlin and Matthews were also found guilty of possession to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine).

All the men, apart from Rahimi and Boswell were unemployed. Hines and Matthews were sentenced to 12 years, Preddie-Clarke and O' Loughlin to 10 years, Rahimi and Boswell to 8 and 8.5 years respectively and Powell to 6 years in jail. Hines, Matthews and Preddie-Clarke will remain on licence for life.

Police were called at 12.50am on October 31st that year. A member of the public reported an assault on a man in the communal hallway of Carisbrooke Court, Brouncker Road. Officers arriving saw large amounts of blood outside the west entrance to Carisbrooke Court and leading to the car park. There was also blood on the ground and first floors outside the lift. After searching corridors and stairwell, the victim was discovered sitting on a bench near the children's playground at the east side of the building.

He had blood on his face and Police soon realised that he had been shot several times in the abdomen and legs. He underwent surgery to have the bullets removed and spent ten days recovering in hospital. Further questioning revealed that he had been lured to a flat in Carisbrooke Court, where he was beaten and shot as punishment by a drug gang for not being willing to be a runner for their drugs operation.

Police arrested 6 men in dawn raids in Acton, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush on 8th and 9th November on suspicion of attempted murder. A seventh man was also arrested.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mckinlay, from Ealing Borough Police, who lead the investigation said:

"This was an excellent example of a thorough investigation, which has contributed significantly towards making Ealing Borough, and in particular the South Acton Estate a safer place to live work and visit. This was a vicious and premeditated attack, which has left the victim traumatised.

"This sentence sends out a clear message to anyone involved in drugs and drug related violence that we are committed too tackling this type of offence and determined to obtain lengthy prison sentences for offenders.

Today's sentence will finally allow the victim to bring to a close this shocking attack.

This gang of very dangerous individuals who have now been removed from the streets of Ealing Borough for some considerable time and I hope this provides some comfort to the victim and the community."

June 3, 2008