Gang members jailed for attempted murder of schoolboy
Three members of a Birmingham gang have been jailed for life for the attempted murder of a 13-year-old boy today (14 October 2022) at Birmingham Crown Court.
Zidann Edwards, 20, Diago Anderson, 20, and Tafique Thomas, 17, were convicted in August of attempting to murder the 13-year-old boy by shooting him with a home-made style firearm known as a slam gun. Thomas was also convicted of possessing a handgun.
Edwards received life detention with the minimum terms of 17 years, Anderson received life detention with the minimum term of 18 years and four months while Thomas who previously couldn’t be named for legal reasons, received life detention with the minimum term of 16 years and eight months.
The shooting took place on 18 November 2021 under the A41 Hockley flyover in Birmingham. The victim, who was not a member of a gang, was crossing the road with his friends when a stolen car drove past him. The car stopped nearby, and five occupants got out, chasing the boy and his friends down into the underpass.
The boy was shot in the back at close range as he ran from his attackers who immediately fled after shooting him. Bravely, while he lay alone on the grass verge at the side of the underpass, he phoned emergency services describing what had taken place and directing the police to his location. The shooting left him paralysed from below the chest.
During the trial, his three attackers denied the offences but were convicted by the jury because of CCTV and other evidence that placed them at the scene.
Importantly, the slam gun used in the offence was recovered at the home of the 17-year-old defendant. The jury were also shown music videos posted by Zidann Edwards and Diago Anderson referring to the rivalry and violence between gangs in Birmingham, with Zidann Edwards even posting a video five days after the offence in which he expressed regret that his victim had not died.
Anjuli Shergill of the CPS said: “The young victim has shown incredible resilience in his recovery. Despite his condition and age, he was courageous enough to provide evidence during the proceedings. When set in contrast to the cowardly actions of the three defendants, his bravery is humbling. I hope that bringing these offenders to justice provides him with some comfort, and that the sentence provides a clear message to the public that violence perpetrated by gangs will not be tolerated. My thoughts are with the victim and his family.”
Notes to editors
- Anjuli Shergill is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.