Forest Gate turf war killer facing jail term

A teenager who shot a man dead in a dispute over drug dealing at a block of flats is facing years behind bars.

Mohammed Ali, 19, blasted 21 year-old Mahamoud Jama in the chest with a shotgun in a Newham turf war.

The victim bled to death two hours later after telling his friend to say sorry to his mother “for every bad thing he had ever done in his life.”

Ali was charged with murder but claimed that the gun went off accidentally when the victim grabbed hold of it during a confrontation at Whyteville House, in Upton Lane.

He claimed that he only took the single-barrelled weapon to the scene to scare off a group who objected to him being in the area.

A jury at the Old Bailey cleared him of murder but convicted him of manslaughter and possession of a firearm.

His friend Maurice Lewis, 19, was convicted of assisting an offender by helping him to get away to Southend.

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Both youths will be sentenced next month on a date to be set.

The court heard Mr Jama had been arguing with Ali in the days before the shooting about his visits to east London.

Mr Jama, nicknamed Sheena, was unhappy because Ali was known to be from south London.

His friend Abdi Hussain explained: “He’s not from our area,” Mr Hussain told the court. “It’s all political. There is no reason for him to be there.”

Ali, known as Trav, told the court he had previously visited Whyteville House without any trouble.

“I used to go in that block selling drugs, I used to see the lads chilling in there. They didn’t use to say anything. They said hello Trav and that’s it.”

In the early hours of January 6 last year Mr Jama and his friends spotted Ali brandishing a large, single-barrel shotgun at a nearby car park.

“Something was said by Trav, I don’t know what it was,” said Mr Hussain.

“Sheena stopped and I caught up with him. I see something go in the air and I heard a loud bang.”

CCTV shows Mr Hussain and Mr Jama then followed the gunman into the flats.

Mr Hussain told the court he caught up with Ali on the first floor landing and began grappling with him for the gun.

“Sheena grabbed me and pushed me out of the way a bit and I just heard a bang,” said Mr Hussain.

“I looked at myself first and realised I wasn’t hit and then I saw Sheena. I could see blood. He was screaming “I got shot”.”

Mr Jama, who lived in Plaistow, told his friend to take revenge on his behalf as he lay dying.

“He wanted me to apologise to his mum for every bad thing he had ever done in his life,” Mr Hussain told the Old Bailey.

“To tell his sisters he loves them, say sorry to his brothers. And he asked me to make sure I got revenge.”

During a taxi ride to the scene, Ali had been heard telling his friends: “They don’t known me, they think I am a coward. I can defend myself. I am a Somali guy.”

After the shooting he fled to Southend in Essex with the help of Lewis.

Ali, of no fixed address, denied murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Lewis, of Haselmere Road, in Ilford, denied assisting an offender.