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Harold Hill gangster jailed for witness intimidation plot

PUBLISHED: 14:42 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 14:47 03 August 2015

Walid Habib. Picture: Essex Police

Walid Habib. Picture: Essex Police

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A gang has been jailed following a plot to intimidate a court witness with a grenade and gun attack.

Jahzeiah Francois. Picture: Essex PoliceJahzeiah Francois. Picture: Essex Police

The sentencing at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, comes after a hand grenade was thrown and bullets were fired at a man’s home near Ongar.

Shots from a handgun were fired through the front door on April 30, last year, and a hand grenade exploded near the front of the house three days later, smashing windows and damaging a parked car. No one was injured in the attack.

Nigo Habib, also known as Claudio Mohamed. Picture: Essex PoliceNigo Habib, also known as Claudio Mohamed. Picture: Essex Police

Walid Habib, 37, of Sevenoaks Close, Harold Hill, was jailed for 18 years for intimidating a witness and must also serve half of his original 15-year sentence for a conspiracy involving stolen vehicles, drugs and firearms.

Jahzeiah Francois, 24, of Cranbrook Road, Ilford, was jailed for 14 years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Kirtharan Thuraisingam. Picture: Essex PoliceKirtharan Thuraisingam. Picture: Essex Police

Kirtharan Thuraisingam, 33, of Perth Road, Gants Hill, who was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice and possessing explosives, was jailed for 13 years for the conspiracy charge and five years for the possession of explosives.

Nigo Habib, 45, of Kingston Road, Ilford, pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for nine years.

Anna Ibrahim. Picture: Essex PoliceAnna Ibrahim. Picture: Essex Police

Anna Ibrahim, 32, of Somerford Street, Bethnal Green, was jailed for 10 years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Habib arranged Francois to fire the shots at the house while Thuraisingam acted as his driver.

A crater caused by the exploding grenade. Picture: Essex PoliceA crater caused by the exploding grenade. Picture: Essex Police

When the shots failed to deter the witness from attending court, Habib called for the hand grenade attack.

Thuraisingam drove other members of the gang to carry out the grenade attack.

Bullet hole in the victim's front door. Picture: Essex PoliceBullet hole in the victim's front door. Picture: Essex Police

Det Insp Andy Waldie, who led the investigation, said: “Walid Habib was the mastermind behind a gang operating from an industrial unit near Ongar that supplied Class A drugs, firearms and stripped or changed the identity of cars stolen in the area.

“These were serious and violent criminals with access to an arsenal of weapons, mainly from eastern Europe.

“The operation was smashed after only a few months after stolen vehicle equipped with a tracker led Essex Police to the unit.

“Walid Habib was charged and bailed but was determined to avoid going to jail for his crimes.

“This was a serious and dangerous organised crime gang that moved into Essex after they were investigated in east London by the Met Police.

“Thanks to the painstaking and thorough investigation carried out by my officers with assistance from Met colleagues they have been brought to justice and now face long prison sentences. They thought they were above the law today shows how wrong they were.”

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