Four men involved in a gang feud which saw rivals shot, stabbed and kidnapped have been handed jail sentences totalling 100 years.
Rival factions fought in Balsall Heath in what West Midlands Police detectives have described as a ‘mini-war’, which is believed to have been linked to the drugs trade.
Detectives began linking a series of violent incidents, which caused widespread concern in the local area, and a major police operation was launched to target those involved.
In April this year, brothers Jacob and Nathan Emanuel confronted a rival at a flat in Strensham Court on Edgbaston Road in Balsall Heath.
They threatened him, beat him and fired a shotgun close to his head, leaving him with a perforated eardrum and a number of other injuries.
The victim fled, but a friend who he’d arranged to meet at the flat, arrived minutes later.
The brothers followed the second victim into the flat, demanded money from him before Nathan blasted him in the face with the same shotgun.
The brothers fled the scene leaving the victim for dead. He was only saved thanks to emergency first aid from firearms officers and medics but has been left disfigured, blind, partially deaf and in need of multiple operations to reconstruct his face.
Tensions boiled over again two days later when Mohammed Luqman dragged a victim off the street and into a vehicle driven by a man wearing a balaclava.
Luqman’s father had been attacked only an hour earlier, and he believed the victim was responsible, telling him he was ‘dead’, and ‘not going home’.
On Caroline Road, the kidnapped man was threatened by Mohammed Osman who said: “I’m a murder man”, and stabbed him in the back with a silver butcher’s knife as he tried to run away.
Others watching shouted: “Go for his chest, go for his neck.” Osman lunged at the victim’s neck, but missed and stabbed him in the collar bone – the knife penetrating fully through his body. Luqman then drove him to Heartlands Hospital and dumped him there.
Other violence that police believe was linked to the trouble included the violent robbery of a man on George Street, a gun being fired from one car at another on Roshven Road, a car being set on fire on Edgbaston Road and a frenzied machete attack on Jacob Emanuel.
Four men were either convicted or found guilty following a trial which started in October and ended last week (11/12). They were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court today (19/12).
Nathan Emanuel, 45, from Balsall Heath was found guilty of wounding, possession of a firearm and attempted murder and was jailed for 36 years. He was given dangerous offender status and will serve two-thirds of his sentence, and spend a further five years on licence after the 36 years has finished.
His brother Jacob, 36, from Balsall Heath was found guilty of the same charges and was given 27 years in prison. He will also serve two-thirds and will be on licence for five more years after the 27 years has finished.
Osman, 21, from Balsall Heath was found guilty of attempted murder and was handed 20 years. He was also given dangerous offender status and will serve two-thirds of his prison sentence and will be on licence for five more years after the 20 years has finished.
Luqman, 21, from Acocks Green was found guilty of kidnap and wounding, and received a 17-year sentence.
Three other men were cleared of charges relating to the violence.
Det Insp Rich Marsh, who led the investigation, said: “We believe that this was a drugs dispute that triggered what was essentially a mini-war on the streets of Balsall Heath.
“It caused a huge amount of concern in the community – firearms were being openly used by people involved in that violence, with no regard for the consequences.
“We took decisive action to arrest the key offenders in this series of events, and were able to build a compelling case against them which has resulted in the lengthy sentences handed down today.
“Gun crime is down in Birmingham, and there’s no doubt that our efforts to disrupt those involved in this violence have helped achieve that.
“Neighbourhood officers are continuing to work closely with the community to keep Balsall Heath safe.
“But it’s vital that people let us know who’s involved in crime in their communities. We rely on information from members of the public to get the kind of great results that we’ve see today.”
Know of people involved in crime? Let West Midlands Police know via Live Chat on their website or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.