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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 19:00 GMT
Six convicted of nightclub murder
Clockwise from top left Jemal Parchment, Michael Christie, Dean Smith, Carl Spencer, Leonard Wilkins and William Carter
An armed convoy brought the men to and from court every day
Six men who killed a doorman and wounded three others when they tried to force their way into a nightclub have each been jailed for life.

Ishfaq Ahmed, 24, was shot in the back as he attempted to stop the group entering Premonitions nightclub in Birmingham in November last year.

Four of the men are said to be linked to a street gang called the Johnson Crew, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Mr Justice Mitting said the defendants must serve at least 30 years in prison.

It's merely a matter of chance that only one man died
Mr Justice Mitting

Dean Smith, 20, of Erdington, William Carter, 29, of Handsworth, Carl Spencer, 37, of Winson Green, and Michael Christie, 33, of Edgbaston - allegedly all part of the Johnson Crew - along with Leonard Wilkins, 35, of Small Heath, and Jemal Parchment, 22, of Aston, were found guilty of murder.

They were also convicted of attempting to murder three of Mr Ahmed's colleagues - Dennis Killeen, Gary Hincion and David Nwolisa - who were also shot and wounded.

During the trial an armed convoy brought the defendants to and from court every day.

The men used two 9mm handguns to shoot dead the father-of-two after being refused entry to three nightclubs, the court was told during the two-month trial.

Violent gang

Mr Justice Mitting told the men he was satisfied they were members of an armed gang and that the jury's verdict meant it had accepted that the shots were fired with the intent of committing four murders.

He said: "One such gun was fired and killed a blameless man for no other reason than that he was doing his duty as a doorman at a nightclub and so caused you loss of face or annoyance, or both.

"It's merely a matter of chance that only one man died."

Detectives said the convictions were a significant breakthrough in the war against gun crime in the West Midlands.

The Johnson Crew has been one of the most violent gangs in Birmingham over the past decade.

Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare died after being caught up in the crossfire in a feud between the Johnson Crew and one of its rivals after a New Year's party in Birmingham in 2003.

Mr Ahmed's partner, Penny Morris, who has seen CCTV footage of the shooting, said he was a "hero" and a "legend" for standing up to them.


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See CCTV footage in the run up to the attack



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