Following a 7 week trial before the Crown Court at Sheffield, Matthew Cohen, Dale Gordon and Keil Bryan were convicted of the Murder of Aseel Al-Essaie and sentenced to life imprisonment with 30 year minimum terms. In addition, Matthew Cohen and James Good were convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by burning out the vehicle from which the fatal shot was fired.
The case was prosecuted by David Brooke Q.C. and Conor Quinn and was described by Mr Justice Males as a highly complex major operation. This was a premeditated murder that involved these three defendants looking for the deceased whilst in possession of a firearm. They found him at about 1.30 pm on 18th February 2017, on Daniel Hill not far from Sheffield City Centre. Once they found him, they turned their vehicle around and pulled up alongside his vehicle. He was then shot dead by a single .44 calibre bullet fired from the front passenger window of the vehicle that Matthew Cohen was driving. Although Dale Gordon was the shooter, the jury convicted all three men in the car of murder.
It was a striking feature of this case that all three defendants exercised their right to silence, which meant that every element of the events of the day in question had to be proved. This resulted in an extensive investigation, utilising cell site, telephone billing, ANPR and CCTV evidence in order to prove that it was these defendants that were involved in the killing. Such an investigation, generated vast quantities of evidence and unused material that had to be carefully managed and presented by the prosecution team in order to secure convictions.
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