A MAN who was part of a gang who murdered a drug rival with a machine gun has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
At the High Court in Glasgow 29-year-old Mohammed Ahmed, also known as Jamal Saeed, was convicted of killing Mohamed Abdi at Duddingston Road West, Edinburgh, on 26 May 2013, while acting with others.
Judge John Morris QC ordered Ahmed to serve at least 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
He told him: “The jury convicted you of a particularly brutal murder by using a machine gun and gunning down a young man in an otherwise quiet suburb of our capital. The use of lethal firearms will not be tolerated on our streets.”
Three other men Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Cadil Huseen, 23, and Hussein Ali, 26, are already serving life sentences for the murder and will spend a minimum of 25 years each behind bars.
Judge Morris told Ahmed: “I see no reason to discriminate between you and the others who pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 25 years each.”
As he was led away to begin his sentence Ahmed gave a thumbs up to his family sitting in the public benches.
Defence advocate Andrew Murphy said that his client still insisted he is innocent.
Mr Murphy handed Judge Morris a letter from Ahmed, saying: “It gives some of his feelings about the trial, some good, some bad.”
The court heard that Ahmed almost got away with murder. He fled the scene and flew to Somalia, where he was born, just days after the street shooting.
But unknown to him he left his wallet behind at the murder scene. A bank card belonging to him was also found in the roof lining of the Volkwagen Sharan driven by the killers. The court heard that the men and the victim were drug rivals and had a falling out.
Iain McSporran, prosecuting, said: “The Crown’s position is that there appears to have been an organised crime group consisting largely of Somalian males with London connections, operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“They split into two rival factions shortly before the murder. Two days before the fatal shooting a message was sent saying: ‘The guns are coming out’.”
On the day of the murder the Sharan with the killers on board chased the Ford Focus containing Mr Abdi and his associates through the streets of Edinburgh.
The chase ended with the Sharan crashed into fencing beside a tennis court. After Mr Abdi got out the Focus and was striking the rear of the Sharan with a baseball bat. He was shot with a sub-machine pistol from within the car.
The court heard that five shots were discharged from the machine gun before it jammed. Three of them hit Abdi and the fatal shot was through the chest.
In evidence Ahmed denied fleeing to Somalia just days after the murder. He said his flight there via Dubai was booked weeks before to give him a break from his girlfriend, whom he believed was cheating on him.
His wallet containing bank cards, both parts of his driving licence, a health card and a card for Gala casinos was found near the scene where Mr Abdi was shot dead..
But Ahmed denied being in Edinburgh on 26 May 2013. “When asked where he was he said: ‘I would be home in London sleeping or watching TV. I was at home with my family’.”
Asked if he was involved in the murder of Mr Abdi he replied: “No. I’ve never been involved in criminal activities.”
Ahmed lived in London Road, Glasgow, with his girlfriend and their daughter but had fallen out with her because he suspected her of cheating on him. He claimed he had given his wallet to his friend Ahmed Ahmed to take back to his flat in Glasgow.