Sheffield shooting was 'cold blooded murder' - prosecution

(L-R) Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan
(L-R) Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan

Three Sheffield men are behind bars today after being found guilty of 'cold blooded murder'.

Matthew Cohen, aged 29, Dale Gordon, 33 and Keil Bryan, 32, were found guilty yesterday on a 'joint enterprise' basis of the murder of 23-year-old Aseel Al-Essaie, who was gunned down in his car in February last year.

Aseel Al-Essaie

Aseel Al-Essaie

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Aseel was on his way to his twin sister's engagement party when he was shot in Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe, from a gun fired from a car driven by Cohen.

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The weapon used was described in court as a ‘Dirty Harry-style' long-barrelled revolver.

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The bullet fired penetrated Mr Al-Essaie’s lung, heart and abdomen and he died in hospital shortly after the gun attack.

During a seven-week trial jurors heard that the shooting was the result of rising tensions between Cohen and the Al-Essaie family.

Cohen, of Clough Wood Road, Oughtibridge, had previously slashed Aseel's brother, Saleh, across the face with a pair of scissors.

The prosecution case against the three men found guilty of murder was that Gordon, of Benty Lane, Crosspool, Sheffield, pulled the trigger but all those involved in the drive-by shooting were jointly responsible.

Bryan, of Brackley Street, Burngreave, was a rear seat passenger in the car at the time.

During the trial, Cohen admitted to driving the car from which the gun was fired but refused to say who the killer was.

All three men were found guilty of murder on a unanimous basis.

Cohen, alongside James Good, 30, of Ringstead Crescent, Crosspool, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice over the burning of the car used in the drive-by shooting.

Catherine Ainsworth, Senior District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a cold-blooded murder in which Mr Al-Essaie was shot at point-blank range in broad daylight.

"Although only one bullet was fired, it was our case that Cohen, Gordon and Bryan murdered Mr Al-Essaie on a joint enterprise basis.

"Cohen then arranged for Good to burnout the vehicle several miles away from the scene of the crime in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

"We hope the verdicts today have brought some comfort to Mr Al-Essaie’s family and friends."