STAR OPINION: It’s high time killer gangs were tackled

A t-shirt in memory of Jordan Thomas. Picture: Andrew Roe
A t-shirt in memory of Jordan Thomas. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A young man, aged just 22, shot and killed in Sheffield city centre.

Yes, Jordan Thomas appears to have unfortunately become tangled up in a gang culture. A man who, on the evidence heard in Sheffield Crown Court, had chosen the wrong path and had fallen in with the wrong crowd, ultimately putting himself in danger.

READ MORE:

Jordan Thomas murder: How the eight-week trial unfolded

Jordan Thomas murder: How deadly gang feud and mistaken identity led to ‘cold-blooded execution’

VIDEO: Members of Sheffield Somali drugs gang who murdered Jordan Thomas ‘have fled the UK’

STAR OPINION: It’s high time killer gangs were tackled

There are many reasons that this could have happened, and it’s a sobering thought that – given the right, or the wrong circumstances – it could happen to almost anyone.

But whatever you think of Jordan Thomas as a person, he had a family. He had friends, and he was still a young man with a life ahead ofhim, shot down by a masked gunman as the car he was travelling in stopped at traffic lights on Derek Dooley Way.

It was a moment described as a ‘cold-blooded execution’ – see pages 9-12 for a run-down of the entire case in detail.

The fact is, this case should have served to help Jordan’s family try to come to terms with the agonising loss they must feel every day.

Jordan’s killer has been jailed for 36 years. That long sentence is testament to the weight of Jama Ahmed’s appalling crime.

The 26-year-old was also found guilty of attempting to murder Mr Thomas’ friend, Neshaun Ferguson, after a seven-week trial.

But it’s fair to say that this is a case that poses more questions than it answers.

And Jordan’s family won’t truly be able to get closure until some of those answers start to be found by police and the British justice system.

Uncertainty still remains about who actually pulled the trigger. Indeed, Mr Justice Green told Ahmed during his sentencing that ‘most of your associates have fled the country to avoid justice’.

There are also serious questions raised throughout the trial about Sheffield’s gang culture.

Why is the culture so rife that Jordan was able to fall prey to it so easily? What is being done to shut down these gangs and avoid this happening to other people in future?

What are South Yorkshire Police doing to curb the gang culture which has ultimately led to a young man’s tragic death?

Can the police give us some assurance that this is being tackled?

It’s vital that we keep pushing for the answers – for the sake of Jordan’s family.