Cole Kershaw was inadvertently blasted in the chest when best friend Spencer Woods was targeted in a shooting fuelled by jealousy stemming from a love triangle feud
Three men have been jailed for life for the killing of an innocent teenager caught up in a love triangle feud involving his best friend.
Cole Kershaw, 18, was shot in the chest after a car chase on August 12 last year when best friend Spencer Woods was targeted in a gangland style hit fuelled by jealousy.
As he lay dying in the street in Bury, Greater Manchester, apprentice scaffolder Cole, a talented boxer told 19-year old Woods: ”He shot me bro, he shot me,” before succumbing to his injuries.
Inquiries revealed Woods had been embroiled in a bitter tit-for-tat dispute with 19-year Kamran Mohammed because they had been dating the same girl.
Mohammed had Woods beaten up by a gang while Woods himself had threatened to ”blow up” the home of Mohammed’s mother.
It also emerged Cole had tried to veer Woods away from the feud and was said to have been in the ”wrong place at the wrong time” when the shooting occurred.
Kamran Mohammed, 20, Mohammed Izaarh Khan, 22, and Khayam Ali Khurshid, 29, were convicted of his murder following a trial earlier this year.
A jury also found all three men guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
A fourth man, Raheem Hall, 19, was found not guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and admitted assisting an offender.
Emotions ran high as all four were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court today on Friday.
A crowd gathered outside the court with dozens of people carrying placards protesting the conviction of two of the defendants.
As Judge Mrs Justice Yip passed sentenced, police officers were forced to intervene as a man climbed on top of one of the courtroom tables.
The judge acknowledged there were ‘strong feelings’ surrounding the case, with ‘at least two of the defendants seeking to challenge their convictions’.
However, she described Cole’s killing as ‘senseless’, and added: “The life of one young man has been taken away and three other young men face spending significant time in custody.
“Many other lives have been seriously blighted as a consequence.”
During a five-week trial earlier this year, jurors heard Cole, nicknamed ‘King Cole’ by friends, was shot as he tried to run away from a car crash following a chase.
On August 12, Cole, an apprentice scaffolder, was with friends at a party in Bury, when he was joined by Mr Woods and others.
The jury heard that Cole spotted a BMW 5 Series, which Mohammed, Khan and Khurshid were travelling in, drive past the house.
Moments later, Cole, Mr Woods and three other men left the party and climbed into Mr Woods’ Ford Mondeo and began chasing the BMW.
At some point, the two cars switched positions and two shots were fired from the BMW.
When the cars crashed in Chesham Road, Cole and the others got out of the Mondeo and tried to flee.
Mohammed then fired a further shot from the BMW, which struck Cole in the side of the chest, damaging the main artery to his heart.
He tried to run but collapsed after a few paces. His chilling cries for help were captured on footage from a nearby house.
He was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Prosecutors told the court ‘it may well be that it was Mr Woods that was the intended target that night’.
As Cole lay dying in the street, Mohammed and Khan fled the scene and drove to Norden, in Rochdale.
Mohammed then phoned a friend, Raheem Hall, who took him to buy petrol before the BMW 5 Series was alight.
Mohammed was heard to tell Hall: “I have shot someone. I need to have a petrol bath and burn my clothes.”
When someone asked Mohammed whether he was responsible for Cole’s death, he said: “He deserved it.”
Several days later, Mohammed was heard to tell another person: “I let off two shots and the third one hit him. The wrong person got shot.”
Following the shooting, Khurshid fled the country and was arrested by armed police in Amsterdam as he tried to escape to Pakistan.
Defending Khurshid, Michelle Heeley QC said the dispute that led to Cole being murdered was not one ‘of Khurshid’s making’.
She added: “He did not source the gun and it was not his finger on the trigger.”
Ms Heeley said Khurshid came from ‘a fractured background’ and was sofa surfing and had no permanent job at the time of Cole’s murder.
Simon Gurney, representing Kamran Mohammed, argued that there had not been significant planning or meditation prior to the killing.
He described Mohammed as ‘immature’ and said he had armed himself with a gun to ‘scare’ Mr Woods as he was anticipating threats from him, ‘rather than to discharge it and cause injury’.
“It was only later in the process that that intention crystallised,” he added.
Mohammed Izaarh Khan’s defence barrister, Abdul Iqbal QC, said that although the defendant was in the BMW on the evening of August 12, there was ‘no evidence of direct involvement’ from him.
Mr Iqbal said: “It is most probably the case, sadly, that because of his size and his previous and ongoing mental health problems, he was just that type of individual who was susceptible to be recruited for this sort of activity.”
Mohammed, of Bury, was sentenced to life in custody with a minimum term of 27 years
Khurshid, of Bury, was also jailed for at least 27 years.
Khan, of Bury, was ordered to serve 24 years before he is eligible for parole.
Hall, of Heywood, was jailed for four years.
He called for a reduced sentence in light of the fact that Khan has ‘significant learning difficulties’.