FOUR men locked up for years for the gangland murder of a Sheffield teenager have won the right to challenge their convictions - claiming new forensic evidence has come to light.
Nigel Junior Ramsey, aged 24, his brother Denzil Ramsey, 21, their next door neighbour Levan Menzies, 18, and pal Michael Chattoo, 23, were each jailed for life in August 2009 after being convicted of the murder of 17-year-old Tarek Chaiboub.
Tarek had been gunned down at a Burngreave barber’s shop the summer before.
All four men were members of the notorious S3 postcode gang and the murder was said to have been ordered by gang leader Nigel Ramsey - known as ‘The General’ - while he was serving time in prison for an earlier stabbing.
He was convicted on the basis that he used a smuggled mobile phone to organise the assassination from his prison cell.
During the murder trial it emerged the S3 gang had started to splinter and rival factions had formed, resulting in a number of deaths and attacks. Nigel Ramsey held Tarek responsible for passing on information which led to a near-fatal attack on his cousin Junior Liversidge.
He was stabbed to “within an inch of his life” by S3 members Esmond Thompson, of Castledine Gardens, Wincobank, and Isiah Nelson, of High Hazels Mead, Darnall.
They were later jailed for attempted murder.
London’s Court of Appeal heard Tarek’s death was the result of rising tensions between rival factions of the S3 gang.
The victim was carrying a gun when he was shot dead in broad daylight outside Frenchies on Spital Street.
His convicted killers went to the Court of Appeal to fight for the right to challenge their convictions - their lawyers claiming new forensic evidence cast doubt on the “safety” of their guilty verdicts.
After a two-hour hearing, Lord Justice Aikens granted them permission to appeal.
The appeal will turn on the reliability of forensic evidence concerning the weapon used in the killing.
Nigel Ramsey is serving a minimum of 35 years before he becomes eligible for parole and Chattoo must serve at least 30 years.
Denzil Ramsey and Levan Menzies received minimum sentences of 25 and 20 years respectively.
Lawyers for Menzies successfully argued his tariff was harsh considering his age and it was reduced to 17 years.