Three men have been convicted of shooting a 28-year-old man to death in the streets of a Northampton neighbourhood.
Jerome Smikle, 27, of Northampton, and Kayongo Shuleko, 26, of London, have both been found guilty of murdering Joshua Bains in the Webb Drive, Upton, in October 2018.
Meanwhile Lewis Carmody, 22, of Northampton, was convicted of assisting an offender.
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The jury took less than seven hours of deliberating to unanimously convict the three men at Birmingham Crown Court today after a six-week trial.
Joshua Bains was murdered by Smikle and Shuleko over a £40 drug deal when the pair tried to buy some £700 of drugs from the 28-year-old but underpaid him.
Smikle and Shuleko fired multiple shots in Webb Drive, Northampton, on October 4, 2018, following a dispute in the pair's white Ford Focus.
One of the shots pierced his heart and despite the best efforts of paramedics and members of the public, who held Joshua’s hand while he died, the 28-year-old passed away from his injuries at the scene.
Remorseless, Smikle and Shuleko called Carmody - one of their associates - and asked him to help them escape to London. Carmody obliged, helping them destroy evidence and dispose of weapons before driving them to Enfield.
Carmody was arrested the next day but Smikle and Shuleko laid low for a while.
However, detectives from Northamptonshire Police’s Major Crime Team were closing in, and on October 19, both men were arrested at an address in Dunster Street, Northampton, and subsequently charged with murder.
Months later in February 2019, the two guns they used to shoot Joshua with, were found by a dog-walker in Preston Deanery Road in Quinton.
At Birmingham Crown Court today, the jury of seven men and five women returned their unanimous verdict after being sent out on Monday (June 3) and convicted all three men for their part in Joshua’s murder.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Ally White, said: “Despite the overwhelming evidence against them, both Smikle and Shuleko continued to deny their involvement in the murder of Joshua Bains.
“Shuleko has tried to blame the murder on Smikle and Smikle has come up with a ludicrous claim that he was never even at the scene. The facts are, both of them were there that night and both of them played a part in Joshua’s murder.
“I also hope Carmody’s conviction demonstrates that we do not only go after the people who pull the trigger but also the ones who assist them.
“Joshua was a loving father to two children and I am pleased that we have managed to get justice for them and the rest of his family. I hope they can all take some comfort in the fact that the men responsible for his death will be behind bars for a long time to come.”
Smikle, Shuleko and Carmody are due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, June 5.