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Jailed: Mickell Barnett (L) and Asharn Williams (R)
Jailed: Mickell Barnett (L) and Asharn Williams (R)

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Gang members sentenced to total of 71 years for shotgun attack

Two men who were part of a gang that broke into a property in Enfield and shot a man at close range have been sentenced to a total of 71 years for attempted murder

Asharn Williams, 22, (03.02.1999), of Tylers Gate, Harrow and Mickell Barnett, 21, (21.01.2000) of no fixed address, appeared for sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday, 30 November.

The sentencing followed a six week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court which concluded on Tuesday, 13 July.

Williams was sentenced to 31 years’ imprisonment with an extended licence of four years resulting in a total of 35 years.

Barnett was sentenced to 32 years’ imprisonment with an extended licence of four years resulting in a total of 36 years.

The defendants were assessed as dangerous individuals involved in violent gang offending and considered high harm offenders. Due to the finding of dangerousness, two thirds of their sentences must be served in prison prior to any consideration of parole.

The jury in the trial heard that on 23 February 2019, a two-car convoy containing gang members from Brent travelled to an address in Enfield, intent on causing serious harm.

Just before 01:00hrs, a group of males, including Williams and Barnett, broke into a home in Enfield armed with a shotgun.

Three occupants inside the property, fearing for their lives, fled upstairs. 

The 26-year-old victim – who we are not naming and who was not connected to gangs – attempted to barricade himself behind a flimsy internal door, pushing against his attackers to try and save his life.

At this point a shotgun was fired twice through the door hitting the victim in the abdomen, causing life threatening injuries.

The attackers fled the property, leaving the victim seriously wounded, before returning to Brent.

The complex investigation was passed to Trident detectives from the Specialist Crime Command North West Hub.

They interviewed a significant number of witnesses and used CCTV and mobile phone enquires to identify and arrest multiple suspects.

Although there was no forensic evidence available, through painstaking analysis of automatic number plate recognition cameras and mobile phone data, the detectives were able to place the defendants at the scene of the attack.

The prosecution also showed evidence from a drill music video which showed both Williams and Barnett and which featured other gang affiliates. The involvement of both men in violent drill music was commented on by the judge in his sentencing.

The investigation revealed that gang tensions around north west London had been the cause of escalating violence in the area.

Detective Sergeant Mark Attridge, from the Trident Specialist Crime Command said: “The sentences passed today are significant for a case of attempted murder and should send out a very clear message that if you choose to immerse yourself in the gang lifestyle then you can expect arrest and substantial terms of imprisonment if found guilty of crimes attributed to gang offending.

“Both Williams and Barnett are violent gang members who are now paying the price for the choices they have made. Both young men have previous arrests and convictions attributed to their lifestyle with Barnett already serving nearly seven years for a gang related stabbing.

“I would like to pay tribute to the Trident officers involved in this complex and long running investigation who, in securing these convictions and sentences, have stopped these dangerous offenders causing further misery on the streets of our city. They were supported by a formidable prosecution legal team who played a key part in securing these convictions.”

The victim’s mother, speaking previously, said: “As a result of being shot close hand with a shotgun, my son sustained significant injuries during the incident. On his road to recovery he has undergone numerous surgeries and is also likely to be subjected to more surgical interventions in the future to try and manage some of the damage that has resulted from the attack.

“The impact of the shooting on my son and our family has been significant. As well as managing the physical injuries, we have also been left extremely traumatised.

“The shooting was gang-related, however my son was not and has never been part of a gang. 

"Notwithstanding this, his life has still been severely impacted by the violence and the chaos resulting from gang activity and the ongoing and often petty disputes between opposing gangs that have significant consequences.

“Our family is very grateful to the Metropolitan Police for their efforts to both identify and punish the individuals responsible for the attack, and to help us understand the events that took place that night.

“Unfortunately the police were not able to charge all of the individuals they believe are responsible for the shooting. However our family is still very grateful that they were able to bring charges against some and that they will face the consequences of their choices and actions and will no longer present a significant threat to public safety.”

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