Legal first as trio convicted of murder after their associate 'Billy the Kid' killed in shootout

·2 min read

Three gangsters have been found guilty of murdering their associate after they took him to a shootout in what is thought to be a legal first.

The victim, Billy McCullagh, 27, died following a gunfight in July 2020 in Harlesden, northwest London.

He was killed after being shot twice in the back.

McCullagh, nicknamed Billy the Kid, went to the skirmish with Issa Seed, 25, Adel Yussuf, 25, and Daniel Mensah, 30.

The group drove to the scene in a stolen Land Rover, and were seeking retribution on a rival gang following a fatal stabbing.

McCullagh was linked to the Harrow Road Boys, who were warring with the Thugs of Stonebridge.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said: "Rather than catching the rival gang unaware, unprotected and unarmed, Billy McCullagh and his friends found themselves in a gunfight."

A total of eight 9mm bullets were fired at the Land Rover, with two striking the McCullagh in the back and one hitting Seed.

The convictions were on the basis that the defendants engaged in a shootout with the opposition in which both sides agreed to shoot and to be shot at - they fired their own guns knowing it was a virtual certainty that the other side would fire back.

Mr Glasgow went on to say that McCullagh was left to die in the street, and the jury heard that Seed was taken to hospital and the guns were hidden while the Land Rover was burned out.

Police used CCTV, forensics and phone data to pull together the evidence to make a case.

Prosecutors were unable to identify the gang members on the other side or who fired the fatal shots.

Seed, Yussuf and Mensah were all convicted of murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, and possessing a firearm with intent by the jury, having denied the charges against them.

They were cleared of a fourth charge of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Leeban Farah, 26, of northwest London, helped Seed to hospital before setting fire to the Land Rover to destroy evidence.

He denied perverting the course of justice but was convicted by the jury.

The prosecution had alleged weapons used by the gang were handed to George Orji for safe-keeping at the address he shared with his girlfriend, Anu Adelaja.

Orji, 31, from northwest London, and Adelaja, 30, from Brent, were cleared of possessing a firearm.

However, Orji was found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent.

A date for sentencing has not been set.