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The BBC's Kevin Bouquet
"Possibly unique in British criminal history"
 real 28k

Monday, 10 July, 2000, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Car chase gun gang jailed
crashed car
A car crash ended the high speed chase
A gunman who shot five bystanders and took a woman hostage during a high speed police chase has been given eight life sentences.

Olatunde Yakub Adetoro, 30, of no fixed address, was convicted of 21 offences at Manchester Crown Court, including attempting to murder two police officers, a motorist and a cyclist.

Francis Dixon, 25, from Newton Heath, Greater Manchester, was jailed for life for carrying firearms and given a 15-year prison sentence, to run concurrently, for conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

A third defendant, getaway driver Andrew Dennis, 25, from Failsworth, Greater Manchester, received two 15-year sentences for conspiring to commit armed robbery and carrying firearms.

Mr Justice Douglas Brown, sentencing Adetoro to a total of 130 years behind bars, said the gunman's "disregard for human life placed him in a special category of dangerousness".

Adetoro, suspected of being a supplier of guns to a major Manchester drugs gang, was also accused of attempting to murder a lorry driver and threatening to kill a woman motorist during the 50-mile chase through Rochdale.

He was convicted of 21 charges including the attempted murder of a police officer, a motorist and a cyclist, kidnap, causing grievous bodily harm, hijacking two cars, using firearms to resist arrest and threatening to kill a female motorist.

Adetoro: Sentenced to life for his part in the shooting spree

Dennis and Dixon were both found guilty of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and of carrying a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle, a 9mm semi-automatic and a Smith and Wesson handgun with intent to commit robbery.

Dennis was cleared of a series of charges including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and using a firearm with intent to resist arrest.

The jury of three men and eight women failed to reach verdicts on a number of similar charges.

During the seven-week trial, the jury heard Adetoro shot at passers-by in an attempt to get police to back off during a pursuit across Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Car chase

The chase began when the men were spotted by plain clothes police in two cars on the hard shoulder of the M6 near Lancaster, Lancashire last April.

The officers called for a patrol car, then as uniformed police pulled over the car in which Adetoro and Dennis were travelling on the M61 near Bolton, Greater Manchester, they were shot at.

Dixon, who was in the other car, drove off and was later arrested.

A high-speed chase followed, during which Adetoro hijacked two cars, took a woman hostage and shot five by-standers.

When they were finally arrested after they lost control of their stolen car, they were found with what was described as a classic robbers kit - boilersuits, balaclavas and firearms.

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10 Jul 00 | UK
The day the bullets flew
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