Leicester trio given life sentences for attempted murder

09/05/2016

Three Leicester men have been jailed for life for the attempted murder of an innocent member of the public last February.

Ruidhe O'Mahony, Eric Manunebo and Shem Thomas set out in revenge for a shooting in the Highfields area of the city where shots had been fired into the Thomas family home. After making arrangements by mobile phone Manunebo picked up the other two defendants and they drove to Kashmir Road in Leicester, where they saw and attacked a young man in his car who they believed was responsible for the shooting.

In fact, the victim of the attack was entirely innocent and was the victim of a mistaken identity. Even during the attack the victim heard the attackers discussing that they didnt think it was the right person. Notwithstanding this, O'Mahony shot at him in the car and somehow missed the intended target from almost point blank range, the bullet lodging in the driver's door. Manunebo and Thomas were armed with a knife and a pole which they were using at the drivers door and all three men had their faces covered.

All three defendants were convicted after the trial at Leicester Crown Court and each was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years.

Alex Wolfson, Crown Advocate at CPS East Midlands said: "This was a complicated and substantial case. Set against a background of drug dealing these defendants, already armed with a handgun and live ammunition, reacted to extreme violence with extreme violence. In a premeditated act of retaliation, they attacked an innocent member of the public who had been unwittingly drawn in to their dangerous underworld of violence. It is almost unbelievable, and extremely fortunate, that the victim escaped without serious injury, given the range from which the pistol was fired, the path the bullet took and the simultaneous attack with knife and pole.

"From when the police attended the scene, all they had to go on was O'Mahony's DNA on the car door handle near to where the pistol was fired from. They painstakingly pieced together a compelling case using mobile phone siting, automatic number plate recognition, CCTV and phone billing to identify who the other two masked men were. By the time the case was brought to the CPS for a charging decision, they had sufficient evidence to prove beyond doubt that Manunebo had driven them to the location of the attack at Thomas' request and that they were the three that carried out the attack. It was a very clear picture to put before the jury, to the extent that the defendants chose not to give evidence during the trial. The guilty verdicts are a testament to the teamwork shown by the police and CPS, which was reflected by the Judge, who commended the police officers in the case and the paralegal officer from CPS East Midlands for their work on the case."