Long sentences for gang members who shot Enfield man

Victim – unconnected to gangs – 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 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 from Harrow, and Mickell Barnett, 21 of no fixed address, were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday after being found guilty at a trial in 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. Because of the finding of dangerousness, two-thirds of their sentences must be served in prison prior to any consideration of parole.

On 23rd February 2019, a two-car convoy containing gang members from Brent travelled to an address in Enfield. 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.

Despite no forensic evidence, analysis of automatic number plate recognition cameras and mobile phone data by detectives placed the defendants at the scene of the attack.

The investigation revealed that gang tensions in Brent and neighbouring areas had been the cause of escalating violence in the area.

The victim’s mother had said earlier in a statement that her son was shot despite not being involved with gangs and that he had been “severely impacted by the violence and the chaos resulting from gang activity in the capital”.

Detective Sergeant Mark Attridge said: “The sentences passed 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.”