03:40PM, Tuesday 29 September 2020
A ‘dangerous young man’ who shot a victim through the window of a van has been found guilty of attempted murder.
Billy Merryweather, aged 21,of Wentworth Avenue, was convicted today by a majority jury following a two week trial at Reading Crown Court.
On March 26 this year just after 9pm, 26-year-old Malamin Sarr was sitting in a Transit van in the Britwell Estate with a friend.
Merryweather and another man named Michael Omitiran, aged 23, formerly of Webb Close, Slough, approached the vehicle.
Merryweather fired a gun shot through the window which hit Mr Sarr in the shoulder. The pair then fled the scene.
During the trial, the jury was read an eyewitness statement from Zdenek Lesovsky, a nearby resident.
He said he was sleeping when he was woken up by what sounded like fireworks going off. He looked out of the window and saw two males run off in the direction of Kennedy Park.
He said one of them had a gun which could be held in one hand.
A second witness, Hilda Ruzane, said she saw two men ‘laughing’ after the incident.
Mr Sarr, who was known to the pair, was taken to hospital where he underwent successful surgery and was discharged.
Merryweather and Omitiran were arrested on April 8 and charged on April 10.
Omitiran was found not guilty of attempted murder but guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Merryweather on the left, Omitiran on the right.
Merryweather was also convicted of one count of possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “This was an appalling and cowardly attack involving the use of live firearms in a busy, residential area at just after 9pm on a Thursday evening.
“It is clear from this incident and his previous offending history that Billy Merryweather in particular is a very dangerous young man who is quite prepared to commit serious violence against others quite literally on his own doorstep.
“These verdicts are down to the excellent work of the investigation and prosecution team who built and presented a compelling case to the jury, even without the victim’s support or co-operation, and despite clear attempts by Merryweather and Omitiran’s family and friends to frustrate our enquiries.
“This case demonstrates that Thames Valley Police will not tolerate serious violence and that we will use all available resources to pursue, arrest and prosecute those involved in the criminal use of firearms.”
Merryweather and Omitiran will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court at a date which is yet to be set.
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