A GUNMAN who fired a pistol from his car at a man in a Coventry street has been jailed for 16 years.
Ajemai George and co-defendant Lackston Powell had both pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
But the jury, which cleared Powell of the charge, found George guilty by a majority of 11-1, and also convicted him of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
George (22) of Lapworth Road, Wood End, Coventry, was jailed for 16 years by Judge Andrew Lockhart QC.
Powell (41) of Sadler Road, Radford, Coventry, was jailed for 30 months after he had admitted other charges of affray and possessing an offensive weapon.
On July 15 last year, the court heard Alam Kamal and Shamina Hussain came to Coventry from London to visit a woman with whom Mr Kamal had been in a relationship – and who had also been in a relationship with Powell which she had ended earlier that day.
Mr Kamal, Mr Hussain, the woman and her sister went for a meal before returning to her sister’s home in Milverton Road.
Shortly afterwards Powell turned up and began knocking the door, shouting her name and sounding aggressive, the court was told.
He would not leave, and at one stage even went to the back of the house and climbed onto a shed to try to speak to her while she was upstairs.
Having returned to the front, the door was opened and there was ‘a minor physical confrontation’ between him and Mr Kamal, before he was chased away.
The court heard Powell returned angrily after fetching a knife until a one of the women made a 999 call.
Powell later returned again with George who had been at his girlfriend’s home next door.
Mr Kamal, having armed himself with a knife from the kitchen and a metal pole, and Mr Hussain, then came out of the house and chased the two defendants away.
George later got into his VW Golf and drove back into Milverton Road and pulled up alongside Mr Kamal as he was making his way back to the house.
Prosecutor Tariq Shakoor continued: “Ajemai George, having pulled up, points the firearm at Alam Kamal through the driver’s door window. Alam Kamal sees it and fears for his life, and the weapon is then fired.
“He takes a dive to avoid the bullet, and gets quickly to his feet and makes a run for it, running round the corner out of sight and hiding in gardens of nearby houses.”
Mr Kamal, who believed two shots were fired, then phoned 999.
George drove off towards Mr Hussain, who was still out in the street, and pointed the gun at him before driving away at speed.
George claimed that after dropping off his girlfriend he was talking to Powell, who he did not know, when two men came out of a nearby house armed with a knife, a pole and a brick.
He said he told them whatever their dispute was, it was nothing to do with him, but that one of the men made threats and ran towards him, so he ran off.
George said he had left the keys in his car, with the engine running, when he had got out with his girlfriend.
He claimed someone else must have got into it and driven it, and that it must have been that person who had the gun, which he said he knew nothing about.
Discussing sentencing guidelines before jailing the two men, Judge Lockhart commented that George could have been charged with attempted murder.