Minimum 33-year terms for men who killed teenager in 'gangland' shooting

Three men have been told they will spend more than 30 years in prison for the "senseless" gangland murder of the 19-year-old brother of a Leeds United footballer.

Raheem Wilks, 19, was shot once through the heart in a barber's shop in the Harehills district of Leeds earlier this year in a killing described by prosecutors as having "all the hallmarks of a gangland shooting".

His brother is the 18-year-old Leeds United forward Mallik Wilks, who is currenly on-loan to Accrington Stanley.

West Yorkshire Police said Keal Richards, 21, of Francis Street, Leeds was found guilty of murder at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday along with Jaydn Manners, 24, of Louis Street, Leeds, and Tremaine Wisdom, 29, of Stainbeck Road, Leeds.

They were all given life sentences and told they must serve a minimum of 33 years before they are considered for release, the force said.

Two other defendants, Keiran Hunt, 29, of Roundhay Road, Leeds, and Cornelia Benjamin, 21, of Reginald Street, Leeds, were both found not guilty by the jury.

Police found no eye-witnesses willing to help them, despite the area being busy at the time.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Dafydd Enoch QC said the teenager was specifically targeted and was a member of a gang called The Flock.

Mr Enoch said it happened in January at lunchtime, in broad daylight and in front of a number of witnesses but "nobody who was present at the shooting has been able to help the police".

The prosecutor said: " This has all the hallmarks of a gangland shooting."

The jury was told how, within a couple of hours of the killing, Richards recorded himself on Snapchat apparently celebrating it.

He said in the message Richards is seen watching a YouTube video in which rapper C Biz is celebrating his acquittal weeks before at the Old Bailey of involvement in a drive-by shooting.

The prosecutor said the defendant can be seen speaking the line "Catch a n**** in a barber's shop, wig a n****" along with the rapper on his iPad.

Mr Enoch said Richards then "gives a whoop of delight".

The prosecutor told the jury that Mr Wilks had "got himself at a young age into bad company".

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Spencer said on Thursday: "Raheem Wilks was murdered in cold blood in the middle of the day in what was clearly a planned and targeted attack.

"The men convicted of this utterly appalling crime went there with the firm intention of shooting and killing him, with total disregard for anybody who may have been present nearby.

"Raheem had made certain choices in his life, which sadly took him into a world of criminality.

"This in no way condones what happened to him."

The detective said: " As a young man of 19 he had everything to live for.

"He was a son, a brother, and a father to a little boy, who sadly will have to grow up without his dad."

He said: " Raheem's senseless murder at just the young age of 19 very starkly illustrates the tragic consequences of the criminal use of firearms by those involved in the organised supply of drugs.

"This is not a music video or posting on YouTube.

"This is real life and it is completely unacceptable.

"The law-abiding majority within this community do not accept this as a culture."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved.