Gang members convicted of attempted murder

Enfield man was shot in his own home but survived his injuries

Mickell Branett (left) and Asharn Willimas (right)
Mickell Branett (left) and Asharn Willimas (right)

Two gang members who shot an Enfield man with a shotgun in a “mindless attack” at the victim’s own home have been found guilty of attempted murder.

Asharn Williams, aged 22 from Harrow, and Mickell Barnett, aged 21 of no fixed address, were convicted yesterday after a six-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. They will be sentenced on Friday, 24th September.

The jury heard that on 23rd February 2019, a two-car convoy containing gang members from Brent travelled to an address in Enfield, intent on causing serious harm. Just before 1am, a group including Williams and Barnett broke into the home armed with a shotgun.

Three occupants inside the property, fearing for their lives, fled upstairs. The 26-year-old victim – unconnected 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 simultaneously through the door, hitting the victim’s abdomen, causing life-threatening injuries. The attackers then fled the property, leaving the victim seriously wounded, and returned to Brent. He survived, but continues to receive treatment for his injuries more than two years later.

Detectives from a Metropolitan Police specialist crime command hub interviewed a large number of witnesses and made several arrests. Although there was no forensic evidence found at the scene, car number plate analysis and mobile phone evidence showed Williams and Barnett were at the scene of the attack.

The police investigation also revealed gang tensions around north-west London, providing a motive for escalating violence in the area.

Detective Constable Anthony Sinclair said: “This was a completely mindless attack on a young man. The defendants’ actions were callous and heartless – effectively leaving a man to die at the scene.

“The victim is still recovering from his injuries. The impact on the victim and his family have been devastating.

“This has been a trying and challenging case but I’m extremely relieved that a jury found them guilty of the crimes. It takes dangerous offenders off the streets and helps keep London safe.”

In a statement, the victim’s mother said:As a result of being shot close hand with a faulty 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 the victim and his family have been significant. In addition to managing the physical injuries, we have also been left extremely traumatised as a result of the shooting.

“The shooting was gang-related, however the victim is not and has never been part of a gang. Notwithstanding this, his life has still be severely impacted by the violence and the chaos resulting from gang activity in the capital and the ongoing and often petty disputes between opposing gangs that have significant consequences.

“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 they were able to bring charges against some of the individuals involved, and that these people will face the consequences of their choices and actions and will no longer present a significant threat to public safety.”