Trial reaches early end.
Guilty pleas to conspiracy to possess firearms, with intent to cause harm.

News report by Helen Gavaghan, 13th June 2019.

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SENTENCE. 17 June 2019.

Mr Usman Nawaz (24) and Mr Mohammed Yasin (25) today pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to possessing a firearm with intent to cause harm or fear of harm. The firearm was a shotgun. They had faced more serious charges, and had their victim died the judge said these foolish young men would have faced murder charges. The crime took place a 22.32 on 15th August 2017 in Bradford. Mr Husanain Murtaza (24) pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. The three defendants will be sentenced at 11 am on Monday, 17th June 2019. All three have bail and have surrendered their travel documents. Mr Nawaz and Mr Yasin must report to the relevant police station on Saturday. Events clearly took place within a feud. The guilty men are from Bradford and Blackburn.

The pleas entered this lunch time came two weeks into a trial and are alternate counts to those the three men had faced. A fourth defendant, Mr Sakib Ditta, from Keighley was told by the judge to leave the dock, and was not asked to plead to new counts, and is not guilty. The counts which the jury were considering initially included conspiracy to commit murder.

Evidence placed before the jury included analysis of telephone connections to masts in Batley, Huddersfield, Halifax, Keighley and Bradford, and information about the direction the phone was pointing in when calls were made. The judge was clearly unimpressed by the use of a burner phone at the critical time. He said there was clearly a conspiracy, but it was unclear what the conspiracy was, but that as the judge he agreed with the prosection's view that the appropriate Counts were those the defendant's today pleaded to in the presence of the jury. There had been evidence presented of a lot of talk about Class B drugs, but it seemed that might have been a ruse to provide cover for the conspiracy.

The Court heard evidence of a false name, false number plate and very severe injuries.

His honour told the jury it had been a pleasure to meet them, and that they had asked sensible questions.

17 June, 2019. Mr Usman Nawaz and Mr Mohammed Yasin were today each sentenced to 7 years in prison, less relevant deductions, for possessing a firearm with intent to cause harm or fear of harm. Mr Husanain Murtaza was sentenced to 27 months in prison for assisting an offender. His Honour Judge Durham-Hall QC, the recorder of Bradford, was both the trial and sentencing judge. He commended the work of those whose names the prosecution presented to him. Ms Kama Melly QC was the lead prosecutor.

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