Four men guilty of gang revenge murder of two rappers

Saydi Abu Sheikh, 23, and Zakariya Jeilani Mohamed, 31, were killed in the bedroom of a house in Ilford, east London, during a midnight raid on October 25 2022, which lasted just five minutes.

A third man, Khalid Khalid, was shot through the head but survived along with two more men who ran or hid.

The alleged attackers were caught on CCTV cameras outside the property, jurors at the Old Bailey heard.

They had donned burkas to hide their identities when they set off for the attack from a “mission control” flat a couple of miles away.

They travelled to the murder scene in a stolen Mitsubishi Outlander which was set on fire minutes afterwards, destroying all but one of their discarded robes.

Another defendant, Zain Mirza, had “procured” the murders in revenge for the killing of his brother in 2019.

He was in prison for a drugs offence but set about putting a plan into action after being released while being careful to remain at “arm’s length”, jurors were told.

Prosecutor John Price KC had said: “He was the one who most wanted it done. His motive was revenge.”

Mr Sheikh, known as “Giddy”, was said to have been a key member of an Ilford gang called Drillford.

The defendants were linked to the rival Only Manor (OM) gang in Newham, the court was told.

The two east London gangs had been engaged in serious violence for around five years before the killings.

In November 2019, Mirza’s 19-year-old brother Mohammed Usman Mirza was murdered and one of those convicted over the killing was “closely associated” with Mr Sheikh, jurors were told.

Iflord shooting murder victim Saydi Abu Sheikh
Saydi Abu Sheikh, who died in a shooting in Henley Road in Ilford, east London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Chibuike Ohanweh, 21, of Romford; Ayaanle Adan, 20, from Barking; Mahad Gouled, 22, from Enfield; and Mirza, 21, of Newham, had denied double murder, two charges of attempted murder and perverting the course of justice.

Mirza claimed he was in Manor Park dealing drugs and celebrating a friend’s birthday at the time of the killings while Ohanweh, Adan and Gouled also denied involvement.

A jury deliberated for more than 40 hours to find the four men guilty of all the charges.

A fifth defendant, Zakarie Mohamad, 19, of Kensington, had admitted perverting the course of justice by destroying the car.

He was cleared of the murder and attempted murder charges.

Judge Mark Lucraft KC remanded them into custody to be sentenced next Tuesday.

Previously, Mr Price had described a “scene of bloody carnage” which greeted police and paramedics called to Henley Road, Ilford.

He said: “In an upstairs room were two young men, both dead or dying. They had each been shot and stabbed many times.

“A third young man, gravely wounded, had been left for dead. Though he sustained a gunshot wound which had passed through his head, he was to survive.

“It was later discovered that a fourth man had run from the back of the house when a group of attackers armed with guns had forced their way in. He is lucky to have escaped with his life.”

The survivor, Ali Sheikh, later told police that a group of men had forced the door and fired twice, with one bullet grazing his shoulder.

Another man, Zachary Abdi, was upstairs and hid in the space between a bed and the wall to evade the attackers.

Saydi Abu Sheikh had been stabbed 28 times and shot four times while Zakariya Jeilani Mohamed was stabbed five times and shot at least seven times.

Survivor Khalid Khalid was shot six times. One bullet entered the side of his face, passed through his head and exited beside his mouth, causing damage to parts of the skull, his brain and his teeth.

The court was told Gouled and Ohanweh had a string of previous convictions which included drugs offences and carrying weapons.

Adan had convictions for drugs offences, criminal damage, having money from the proceeds of crime, and possessing a lock knife.

He had been released from prison on September 9, just over a month before the murder.

Jurors were told how the attackers’ movements were tracked via CCTV and they were linked to the killings through DNA.

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