Machine-gun murderers jailed for 75 years

The machine gun used in the shooting lies discarded at the scene. Picture: Contributed
The machine gun used in the shooting lies discarded at the scene. Picture: Contributed
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THREE men who gunned down a former friend during a violent drugs feud have been jailed for a total of 75 years.

Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Cadil Huseen, 23, and Hussein Ali, 26, killed Mohammed Abdi in Edinburgh’s Duddingston area on 26 May last year.

The trio returned to the High Court in Glasgow yesterday after pleading guilty to the murder of the 25 year-old.

Lord Turnbull jailed them for life and ordered each of them to serve a minimum of 25 years.

He said the three were part of a “wholly corrupt lifestyle” and were prepared to “engage in violence of an extreme nature”.

Mohamud and Ali showed little emotion as they were led to the cells. Huseen smiled and gave a thumbs up to friends.

Omar Abdi, the dead man’s father, said: “Nothing will bring my son back, but I am relieved to know that the persons who committed this terrible crime will no longer be able to hurt anyone again, and I hope no other family will suffer as we have.

“I would like to thank wholeheartedly the various communities across Edinburgh who were affected by this tragic death and who went on to provide vital support to the police investigation.

“I was heartened when I saw the number of cards and flowers that were laid where my son died and provided me with comfort that he had been a friend to a number of people who shared in my grief.”

John Dunn, procurator fiscal for the east of Scotland, said: “There can be few crimes quite as reckless and dangerous as the repeated discharge of a firearm in a populous area.

“Mohamud, Huseen and Ali left one man dead and put the lives of those living nearby at extremely high risk.”

An earlier hearing was told a large Somalian crime network with London connections operated in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Huseen and Ali were involved in large-scale drug dealing, with Mohamud a close associate. There were claims Huseen and Ali raked in up to £15,000 a week.

They used the money to buy £100 bottles of vodka and cognac that they swigged with friends in nightclubs.

The victim had been close to the group – until he set up a rival drug mob. This sparked a series of tit-for-tat incidents between the gangs, before it escalated to the fatal shooting.

Two days earlier, a friend of Huseen and Ali sent a message to an associate of Mr Abdi warning: “The guns are coming out.”

The groups clashed on the night of killing after a high-speed car chase through the streets of the capital.

Witnesses spoke of hearing cars whizzing past – one eventually smashed into a fence – and the sound of gunfire.

Taxi driver Mohammed Irfan recalled: “I never thought it would be happening here. It was like something you hear in the movies.”

Five shots were discharged from a machine gun, and three hit Mr Abdi. Another was fired from a converted revolver, but it was a bullet from the machine gun that proved fatal after it hit Mr Abdi in the chest.

His friend Mohammed El-Halili recalled seeing “flashes” that night before finding the victim in a pool of blood.

Mohamud was caught at the scene by police, while Huseen hid in a shed then escaped to London where he was arrested weeks later. Ali fled to Kenya, but agreed to return to the UK after extradition proceedings began.

The three had originally denied murder, but changed their pleas to guilty in the fourth week of their trial last month.

Lawyers for the trio yesterday told the court they had previously been on good terms with Mr Abdi. Ali’s defence QC, John Scott, even claimed his client was “struggling to come to terms” with what went on and that Mr Abdi had been a “good friend”.

Lord Turnbull said the three and associates had been part of a “large-scale and highly profitable drugs network” allowing them access to significant amounts of cash. He said: “You went to find Mohammed Abdi and the others in order to eliminate the competition.”

Four others who were also initially accused of murder had their not guilty pleas accepted by the Crown.