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Yussuf Mustapha Biography
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A 14-year-old ‘evil’ gunman who shot schoolboy Keon Lincoln with a revolver in a brutal daylight gang attack in Birmingham has been jailed for life.
Yussuf Mustapha, whose identity was revealed today by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court, faces a mandatory life sentence along with three other teenagers convicted of murdering 15-year-old Keon near his home in Handsworth, Birmingham. .
Keon was shot and stabbed after trying to escape the shocking 30-second assault in January this year. He died two hours later at Birmingham Children’s Hospital from a gunshot wound to the stomach. He also had a major artery cut due to him sustaining eight shear injuries.
In a disturbing statement about the victim’s impact today, Keon’s mother said: ‘I am in a nightmare from which I cannot wake up. They have taken a piece of my soul.
Describing how she recalled the comments made on the day of the murder and could see an image of her ‘beautiful child’s body being lowered to the ground’, she said that ‘heartless and evil monsters’ had left her with thoughts and emotions that she would have. to live. her with the rest of her life.
In sentencing, Judge William Davis said the murder had been “carefully planned and executed” with a revolver and a stolen car for use in the murder.
He added: ‘Keon’s mother was at the family home, she came out of it and found her son dying on the sidewalk after hearing the gunshots outside. Not only had she stolen her son, but she too had had the experience and trauma of seeing him die.
When a 15-year-old dies like that, the first question asked is ” why? ” That question has never been answered. ‘
Mustapha was convicted of murder by jurors earlier this month after a five-week trial. He told the jury that he was not at the crime scene, but admitted that he had lied to the police. The 14-year-old showed little emotion when the verdict was read.
Lifting a court order prohibiting the media from naming Mustapha, the judge said it was in the public interest to name him and that the move had represented a “substantial restriction” on the ability of the press to report on the case.
The judge also said that a 16-year-old convicted of murder should be identified, but suspended the lifting of the order, pending the outcome of the appeal against his conviction.
His accomplices Michael Ugochukwu and Tahjgeem Breakenridge, both 18, were also convicted of murder and jailed for life. Kieron Donaldson, 18, was convicted of illegally killing Keon after purchasing the weapons used in the murder, and was sentenced to 12 years.
Tahjgeem Breakenridge, 18, and Michael Ugochukwu, 18, were also found guilty of murder after 15 hours and 50 minutes of jury deliberations spread over four days.
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough is leading the investigation. He said: ‘The assassination of Keon Lincoln not only devastated his family, it brought dismay and sadness to the entire community.
“Especially since such a brutal attack could be carried out in broad daylight against a schoolboy, by others so young, if not younger.
‘The wave of disbelief was followed by anger and hurt, but finally unity as everyone came together to support Keon’s family, promising that this shouldn’t happen to another family.
‘The saddest thing here is that not only has Keon’s family been left without him, but these young killers are now facing life in prison, away from their own families, and for what?
‘We have not been able to establish why Keon was killed. Only his murderers know, but now they will have plenty of time to reflect on his actions.
Keon’s mother, Charmaine, spoke of his pain: ‘I’m in a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. My heart is broken beyond repair. A piece of my soul has been taken from me.
‘I see my baby’s face as he lay slumped on the ground struggling to breathe.
‘I hear the words’ her heart has stopped’. I miss my boy so much it hurts me physically.
“I do not wish this suffering on anyone and I can only hope that the day will come when the senseless murder of children comes to an end.”
The Rev. Neville Popo, a close family friend, has known Keon his entire life and has supported his family in their times of greatest need. He said: ‘On January 21, the lives of so many would never be the same again. This is the harrowing day Keon Lincoln was taken from us so brutally in what can only be described as senseless violence.
“When young people join potentially violent groups and then begin to enact moments of violence, they are never really aware of the consequences of their actions.
“We know that the system offers consequences to deter such behavior, but in addition to the potential fear of arrest and incarceration, I contend that young people do not think about how their actions impact the lives of so many others.
“Young people who kill do not understand that once they have taken a life, they cannot reverse their actions; they must live with this reality for the rest of their lives and everything that comes with it. ”
High-ranking police have for some time been concerned about the number of teenagers caught up in the cycle of violence in Birmingham city center.
The conflict in which he grew up dates back to the 1980s, when two rival Afro-Caribbean gangs clashed. Although the names of the gangs have changed, locals claimed that the rivalry between the two has never disappeared.
And while gang conflict is not new, experts warned that the pandemic has made things significantly worse. In Handsworth, where Keon was tragically murdered, crime had increased by 87 percent in the 12 months before his death, police figures show. Keon is not believed to have been a member of a gang.
Simon Foster, the West Midlands crime and police commissioner, said that increased school exclusions and cuts to youth services and police have left “vulnerable youth at greater risk of becoming victims of crime.”
The Reverend Neville Popo, who runs the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Handsworth, told The Times: ‘There has been nothing these young people can do. Years ago, there was a youth club in every town. Now nothing happens. ‘
One activist insisted that the proliferation of gangs in the city was getting worse. Michelle Helsby said, ‘You don’t even have to be in a gang. If you are from these areas, like Handsworth, they can kill you. My son has lost two friends this year, both under the age of 15. Keon was the first. ‘
Keon was said to have suffered eight acute force injuries
Keon was said to have suffered eight acute force injuries and a fatal injury to the abdomen in a five-week trial for one of two shots fired on Linwood Road, Handsworth, around 3.35pm on January 21.
The trial was told that Breakenridge, from Balsall Heath, Ugochukwu, from Edgbaston, and the 16-year-old from Walsall were caught on CCTV armed with long-bladed knives.
The court was told that all purchases were made online using Donaldson’s email address, but none of the knives were found when police searched his home a month after the murder.
Detectives have said there is no evidence to suggest that the gang’s territorial rivalries were related to the murder, and they were unable to say whether Keon was a specific target or whether he was attacked “by chance.”
Pastor Neville Popo, a friend of Keon’s family, had called for an end to the so-called “zip code war” at a vigil shortly after the murder.
Speaking after Keon’s killers were brought to justice, the pastor said the family was still trying to understand why he was targeted.
Describing Keon as a bubbly character who loved pranks and dancing, the clergyman said: ‘From then until now we’re still trying to come to terms with why, we don’t know yet.
‘The crime that was committed in Keon is heinous, it is diabolical, it is unnecessary, it never had to happen. We are trying to come to terms with that and we just want closure.
“It helps his mother to feel at least a little more at peace knowing that those who committed the crime are now behind bars.”
Paul Farrow, a specialized prosecutor at CPS, said: ‘Our thoughts are with Keon’s family and friends during this difficult time.
“While these convictions can never replace what they have lost, I hope they find some comfort in the fact that those responsible have been held accountable for their actions.”
Opening the case for the Crown at the beginning of the trial, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said that those who attacked Keon used a stolen Ford S-Max, which had a false license plate.
The vehicle subsequently crashed on Wheeler Street, Birmingham, where forensic evidence, including a hunting knife, was recovered.
CCTV cameras captured the hooded mob that triggered the attack
CCTV cameras captured the hooded mob that triggered the attack, which continued even after Keon tried to get up and flee, the trial heard.
Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC told Birmingham Crown Court: “[Keon] was shot while he was on the ground. Still, the group continued to attack him, stabbing him and cutting him with large knives. In the end, the group got away and got back into a white Ford S-Max and that car was driven off the scene. ‘
The footage showed Keon being shot twice by a suspect, including once in the stomach that later killed him, the jury was told.
Other CCTV shows Ugochukwu and Breakenridge casually walking down the street towards Linwood Road in Handsworth prior to the murder.
Opening the case for the Crown at the beginning of the trial, prosecutor Burrows said that those who attacked Keon used a Ford S-Max. The getaway vehicle, which had been stolen and had false license plates, later crashed. Gone are forensic evidence, including a hunting knife, which was found in the footwell of the car.
Following Keon’s death, her mother, Sharmaine Lincoln, described her son as a joker and a “loving child with a joyous spirit” whose “incredible laughter” echoed daily in her home.
Yussuf Mustapha Quick and Facts
- A gunman aged 14 who murdered schoolboy Keon Lincoln in gang attack in Birmingham sentenced to life
- Yussuf Mustapha has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years at Birmingham Crown Court
- Keon Lincoln, 15, was shot and stabbed by Mustapha’s gang in January and died in hospital two hours later
- Mustapha was convicted of murder by jurors earlier this month following a five-week trial and jailed for life
- His accomplices Michael Ugochukwu and Tahjgeem Breakenridge were also jailed for life for murdrr
- A 16-year-old was jailed for life for murder, while Kieron Donaldson was jailed for 12 years for unlawful killing
- In haunting victim impact statement, Keon’s mother said: ‘I am in a nightmare that I cannot wake up from’