Four men have been jailed after they tried to kill a man by firing shots through his car window.
Joseph Waters, 25 and accomplices Sahit Shehu, 31, Cleon Douglin, 37 and Lee Peppiat, 36, were jailed for a total of 57 years at Reading Crown Court today.
The gang were found guilty of various charges including attempted murder after firing seven shots through the rear window of the victim’s Honda Jazz on October 16 2019.
They managed to shoot their 42-year-old victim in the shoulder, during the attack at around 3:30am in a quiet cul-de-sac in Reading, Berkshire.
The victim was taken to hospital and has since made a full recovery.
Joseph Waters, 25, of Laytom Rise, Tilehurst was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and was handed a 24 year sentence. His accomplice, Lee Peppiatt, 36 of Corine Close, Whitley, Berkshire, was given 14 years
The court heard that at about midnight that evening, Sahit Shehu, had been involved in a car crash.
Witnesses had seen him transfer a handgun from his damaged vehicle into a BMW X5 which arrived with a driver to pick him up.
He then made his way home and left his mobile there in a deliberate attempt to trick police into thinking he was there at the time of the shooting.
He and Waters then set out to the cul de sac in pursuit of their victim, whilst Waters was in possession of a large amount of drugs.
Cleon Douglin, 37 of Coley Avenue, Reading, was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and two counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. An accomplice Sahit Shehu, 31. of Bunces Lane, Burghfield, Berkshire was given five years.
Detective Sergeant Gareth Perry said: ‘Inside the BMW was Lee Peppiat, aged 36 years, who took Shehu back to his home address, before then transporting the firearm to Laytom Rise, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks.
‘Then a few hours later, at approximated 3.31am in Laytom Rise, Joseph Waters discharged that same firearm seven times into the back of a Honda Jazz vehicle, intending to kill a 42-year-old man who was sat inside.
‘The victim sustained a gunshot wound to his shoulder.
‘Peppiat and Cleon Douglin, aged 37 years, were present with Waters. The victim was treated in hospital for the wound and has made a full recovery.’
The shooting took place during the early hours of October 16 2019 in a quiet cul de sac, Laytom Rise, Reading
Perry went on to describe the attack as ‘terrifying’ for witnesses.
He continued: ‘The investigation found Douglin had deliberately left his mobile phone back at his home address earlier in the evening, in a clear and deliberate attempt to deceive officers into believing he was at home when the shooting took place.
‘With the evidence we collected, we were able to show Waters intended to kill the man who was sat in the Honda Jazz that night.
‘He fired seven shots towards the rear of the car, in the early hours of the morning in a quiet cul-de-sac in Reading, clearly showing absolutely no regards for the community in what must have been a terrifying thing to hear or witness.
‘Officers later discovered a significant quantity of controlled drugs were located in a vehicle linked to Joseph Waters, then a further quantity located at another property linked to him.’
After a five-week trial, Waters, of Laytom Rise, Tilehurst was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and was handed a 24 year sentence.
Shehu, of Bunces Lane, Burghfield, Berks was jailed for five years.
Both Douglin, of Coley Avenue, Reading, and Peppiatt, of Corine Close, Whitley, Berks., were found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and two counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.
Douglin and Peppiatt were each given 14 year sentences.
Two other defendants, Joshua and Monique Sofroniou, were found not guilty of the charges against them.
DC Perry concluded: ‘I would like to thank and pay tribute to the local community for their patience and understanding when officers were investigating this incident.
‘No one should have to experience this form of violence in their community.
‘The supply and distribution of drugs in our communities causes untold damage and Thames Valley Police will continue to work in partnership to tackle serious organised crime and stop those who seek to exploit vulnerable people for their own means.
‘The lengthy sentences handed down in Reading Crown Court clearly demonstrates that neither the police nor the courts will tolerate any kind of violent crime.’