Shocking moment gangsters shoot children in playground, as three thugs jailed for attempted murder

20 December 2023, 14:48

Moment shots are fired at a playground in Wolverhampton

By Kit Heren

This is the shocking moment gangsters accidentally shot two children in a drive-by attack by a playground in Wolverhampton.

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CCTV footage shows shots being fired from a stolen Ford Focus towards a girl aged 11 and a 15-year-old boy as they played in Shelley Road in the West Midlands town on May 1.

The children were caught between two rival gangs who were engaged in a "murderous" feud which then led to a high-speed car chase through Wolverhampton.

In the shooting, Durnin, the driver of the car, and McIntosh, in the front seat, both leant forward and fired towards the rival gang in footage played to jurors at Birmingham Crown Court. De-Sousa was in the back seat.

Both children, who cannot be identified, were hit in the leg by bullets but recovered after being treated in hospital.

Martinho De-Sousa
Martinho De-Sousa. Picture: WMP

All three men were jailed for 23 years on Wednesday, having been convicted last week of attempting to murder a person unknown and aggravated vehicle-taking after more than 28 hours of deliberation by jurors.

Jailing Durnin, 22, McIntosh, 23, and De-Sousa, 24, on Wednesday, Mr Justice Sweeting said they had set out on an "armed expedition" intent on finding members of a rival group.

The judge said: "You intended to kill one or more of them if you found them.

"You armed yourself with two handguns and ammunition. You wore dark clothing and balaclavas.

Kian Durnin
Kian Durnin. Picture: WMP

"Without leaving the vehicle, you McIntosh and you Durnin opened fire. At least six bullets were fired.

"It must have been apparent to you that the playground was in your line of fire.

"Although you each played different roles, you were equally involved."

During the offences and the ensuing car chase, the judge said, the men had intended to kill and had shown a "callous disregard for the lives of anyone who might get in the way".

All three defendants were banned from driving for five years for aggravated vehicle-taking, and told they will have to serve two-thirds of their 23-year sentences before being released on licence.

Tireq McIntosh
Tireq McIntosh. Picture: WMP

Durnin and McIntosh both denied being in the Ford Focus at the time of the shooting, which prosecutors said then led to an armed high-speed chase involving rivals in a Mini Cooper, who were the intended targets of the shooting.

A man on an electric bike, a Peugeot and a Seat Leon also joined the chase through north-east Wolverhampton.

A bullet fired from one of the chasing vehicles blew out the Focus' back windscreen and was found lodged in the headrest.

Footage shared by West Midlands Police shows the men being apprehended by armed police three weeks later.

Prosecutor Tim Cray KC told jurors that while the motive of the shooting remained unknown, the injuries to the children were a consequence of a "planned attack on rivals, caring absolutely nothing for the public", caused by a feud between "two armed groups existing cheek by jowl with each other".

The moment the men fire the shots
The moment the men fire the shots. Picture: WMP

In a victim impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor in the case, the mother of the 11-year-old girl said: "Everything changed forever that day - our life as we know it was turned upside down.

"We have lived and breathed this every day since it happened."

Other relatives of the girl also submitted statements to the court, saying counsellors had supported the family through what had been a "nightmare" period.

The girl's grandfather stated: "The impact on the family has been immense. Nobody can believe that this has happened.

"I would never have believed this could happen to an 11-year-old."