Gang members jailed over mistaken identity shooting murder
Three gang members who murdered an innocent man in a case of mistaken identity have been jailed.
Twenty-year-old Joseph Williams Torres was sat in a van listening to music in Walthamstow when he was shot at around 9.30pm on 14 March 2018.
His killers had mistaken him for someone else who wore the same beanie hat as him.
Today, (Friday, 10 January 2020) Hamza Ul-Haq, 21, Loic Nengese, 19, and a 16-year-old boy from Hackney, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were all jailed at the Old Bailey. They had previously been found guilty of murder following a trial at the same court, which concluded in December 2019. Ul-Haq received a minimum of 28 years, Nengese was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years and the youth was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
Joseph had been sat in the vehicle with a friend before the defendants appeared with their hoods up. Joseph was fatally shot in the chest and leg but managed to stagger out of the van. Paramedics were unable to save him and he died around an hour later.
Devi Kharran, from the CPS, said: “This was a targeted hit by three ruthless gang members who sought out the wrong victim.
“These killers were seeking revenge on a man who Joseph resembled, but Joseph was an innocent person caught in the middle of an east London gang feud.
“The prosecution case included CCTV evidence that unveiled the identities of the defendants after they ran away. The youth killer dropped his phone at the scene, allowing police to easily trace him. The firearm used in the murder was also linked back to the gang the killers were affiliated to.
“This has been a long and complex prosecution. Joseph was just a couple of weeks short of his 21st birthday and had great plans for his life. His family have been left devastated at the loss of their beloved son and brother, but I hope these sentences go some way in providing them with a measure of comfort.”
Notes to editors
- Hamza Ul-Haq (DOB: 03.04.98) is from Wanstead in the London Borough of Redbridge
- Loic Nengese (DOB: 20.07.00) is from Walthamstow in the London Borough of Waltham Forest
- The 16-year-old boy is from the London Borough of Hackney
- Devi Kharran is a Senior Crown Prosecutor from the Homicide unit in CPS London North.