CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Teen gunman and his adult accomplices jailed for killing Yasir Beshira

Victim of gun murder was described as a “bubbly, kind and caring soul”

27 November, 2017 — By William McLennan

Sammi Tesfazgi, left, and Rilind Tahiri stood in the dock alongside the teen

A 16-year-old boy was today jailed for at least 20 years for the “assassination” of a low-level drug dealer in front of stunned shoppers.

The teenager, who can not be named because of his age, shot 21-year-old Yasir Beshira in a side street off Kilburn High Road in December last year.

He was found guilty of murder at the end of an two-month Old Bailey trial in October.

Sammi Tesfazgi, 21, of Lithos Road, West Hampstead, was described as the “mastermind of an assassination”. He was also found guilty of murder and today sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.

Rilind Tahiri, 22, of North Road, Islington, drove the teen to and from the killing in a stolen Range Rover, which was later torched in an attempt to cover their tracks. He was found guilty of manslaughter and today jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Beshira’s mother said the family will “never be the same again”.

“We will never see Yasir again. We will never see Yasir on his wedding day or bring a child into this world. Yasir has been robbed of this.”

She described her son as a “bubbly, kind and caring soul”.

She added: “Life does not seem full of light, just darkness and emptiness.”

Police have never been able to pinpoint the exact motive for the murder of Mr Beshira, who worked as a runner for an established drug phone line. They believe it was in retaliation for his decision to “go it alone” and poach customers from the phone line.

DCI Andy Patridge told the New Journal: “With these sort of cases it is very hard to say that this, led to that. [Mr Beshira] had recently decided to go it alone and I think that did upset the apple cart, so to speak, and I think that was probably the reason he was targeted.”

DCI Patridge said that it “proved to be a fatal decision for him to do that”.

On December 8 he was lured to a side street next to a branch of Nandos, where the teenage gunman was lying in wait beside a bin.

At around 5:20pm, he stepped forward and shot Mr Beshira once in the stomach, before sprinting away and climbing back into the getaway car, which was later found burnt out in Cricklewood.

Mr Beshira, who was known as Loopy, made it a few metres before collapsing outside Ellie’s Café in Kilburn High Road. Efforts to resuscitate him, including attempts at life-saving surgery on the pavement, failed and he was pronounced dead shortly before 6:30pm.

The jury told that Mr Beshira’s death was part of an escalating series of gun attacks across Camden involving Mr Tesfazgi, who was himself shot as he sat in a parked car in Fellows Road in September last year. Eight days later he was alleged to have been part of a retaliatory gun attack in Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, that left one young man in hospital with bullet wounds.

DCI Patridge said outside court: “Tesfazgi, I think, was the catalyst for everything that took place. By virtue of the fact he had a previous linkage to that gun being used earlier. The whole incident revolved around Tesfazgi. He, for me, was the one who wanted this to take place. [The boy] was the one who carried out the actual shooting. Why wouldn’t Tesfazgi carry out the shooting himself? That I don’t know, but he found a willing participant in the youth involved.”

He added:“There are some dangerous people there that have been taken off the streets, so I would suggest that London is safer by the fact they are behind bars.”

Judge Mark Lucraft QC: “This was a planned, pre-meditated killing. It was targeting a man who was dealing drugs and had recently gone out on his own as a dealer.”

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