Rotherham man among five jailed over Sheffield shootings

A ROTHERHAM man was among a gang of five jailed for a combined 25 years over a string of firearms incidents in Sheffield.
Qamar NainQamar Nain
Qamar Nain

Qamar Nain (27) admitted two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm and one of possession of ammunition when prohibited.

He and four other men were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in relation to a number of shootings in the city.

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The first was reported in July 2020, when police were called to Abbeydale Road after numerous calls of shots being fired.

They found a dog had suffered serious gunshot injuries, which needed to be put down.

A loaded handgun was found discarded in a bush on Lumley Street the following month. 

Later in August, officers received reports that shots had been fired at a house on Madehurst Gardens.

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In September 2020, a second viable handgun was found hidden behind a wall during the execution of a warrant at Nether Edge. It was forensically linked with three of the defendants.

Det Chief Insp Tony Slater, from the force’s armed crime team (ACT) said: “These incidents understandably caused a great deal of concern locally when they happened. After all, the use of a firearm is unbelievably dangerous that can result in significant injury or death.

“The incident on Abbeydale Road could so easily have resulted in a human being losing their life, though it is no less despicable that an innocent animal was caused such suffering unnecessarily.

“Thanks to the significant efforts and dedication of the armed crime team, a number of individuals were identified through DNA and tied to these awful crimes.”

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Mohammed Maroof (27), of HMP Lindholme, was sentenced to a further 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of ammunition without a certificate. 

He was already serving a prison sentence after being convicted of possession of a prohibited firearm in earlier legal proceedings, in relation to the handgun that was recovered in August 2020.

Awais Ahmed (23), of HMP Marshgate, was sentenced to five years in prison after entering a guilty plea to possession of a prohibited firearm.

Zaheer Ahmed (26), of Derby Street, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate in an earlier hearing. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

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Nain, of St Stephen’s Road, Rotherham, was sentenced to six years in prison.

He was forensically linked to the incidents in 2020 and his DNA found on spent bullets recovered from a stolen car linked to another shooting in the Ecclesall Road area last year.

In the early hours of February 7, 2022, officers responded to reports that shots had been fired towards vehicles, injuring one of the occupants. 

Officers would later locate the stolen car in the Totley area and recovered a spent bullet casing inside. 

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This casing was ballistically matched to the shooting and DNA recovered from the casing tied to Nain.

DCI Slater said: “This was another incredibly dangerous incident that was witnessed by a number of members of the public, to whom I am indebted for their calm response to what must have been a terrifying sight, calling police and passing on vital information that allowed us to identify those responsible.”

A fifth man, 24-year-old Akaash Iqbal, was also sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.

Iqbal was linked to the firearm used in the shooting of the dog on Abbeydale Road, but then charged with additional firearms and drugs offences after a warrant was executed in Ringinglow.

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Officers recovered quantities of cannabis, live shotgun cartridges and, hidden behind the oven in the kitchen, a single-barrelled shotgun.

In an earlier court hearing, Iqbal, of Fraser Road, Sheffield, admitted possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of ammunition without a certificate and possession with intent to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison.

DCI Slater added: “Five dangerous men and three dangerous weapons have been removed from the streets, and all are now behind bars for their crimes.

“ACT’s work doesn’t stop here, however. Our investigations into those who seek to use firearms to incite fear or cause harm to others will continue and we will relentlessly pursue anyone within the criminal network who thinks they are above the law when it comes to firearms. You aren’t, and you will be caught.

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“I’d like to reiterate the point that the information we get from the public when investigating crimes of this nature is often invaluable, but we know that there can be a reluctance to speak to police. 

“We do understand this hesitancy – those that carry firearms can cause fear and intimidation among our communities. 

“However, I hope what this case demonstrates is that we will take proactive action based on the information we receive from the public, and the information you hold could be hugely beneficial to an ongoing investigation.

“Please keep sharing information with us, or anonymously to Crimestoppers, so we can continue our crackdown on firearm-enabled crime.”

A sixth defendant was released with no further action.

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