Christopher Lewis murder: Five men jailed for 75 years over doorstep killing of Leeds gang member
Five men have been handed jail terms totalling 75 years over the murder of a dad shot in the head during a Leeds gang "war".
Steven Grey and Jonathan Gledhill were today handed life sentences over the cold-blooded doorstep killing of Christopher Lewis.
Grey was told he must serve a minimum of 32 years in prison. Gledhill was told he must serve a minimum of 31 years behind bars.
Both men were convicted of murder after jurors heard they targeted Mr Lewis as he was a member of a rival gang called the Flock.
Grey fired the fatal shot to Mr Lewis's head in a "revenge execution" outside his home on Reginald Street, Chapeltown, on August 1 last year.
Gledhill was recruited to "stalk" Mr Lewis through the streets of Chapeltown in the moments before the killing.
Three others - Denzil Browne (Junior), Owen Clarke and Lewis Pearce - were found guilty of a charge of assisting an offender.
Pearce 27, of no fixed address, Browne (Junior), 23, of Oaklands Crescent, Gipton, and Clarke, 26, of Haw Avenue, Yeadon, helped the killers get away from the Chapeltown area after the killing.
They were each jailed for four years.
Sentencing the men, The Recorder of Leeds, judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: "There has been an ongoing war between men in their teens, early 20s and 30s who are prepared to use extreme violence.
"This has been going on for over two years.
"It is equally clear that this violence is not random, but surrounds a group called the Flock on the one hand and others including yourselves, and others you associate with.
"I am also satisfied that this is drug related and that you finance your lifestyles by the buying and selling of Class A drugs.
"That puts you in conflict with the Flock."
The judge added : "You each played your own part in either the execution of Christopher Lewis or the getaway."
He told the three men convicted of assisting an offender: "You were as close to this murder and its planning as it is possible, given your association with Grey and the planning involved in the execution."
"This was an execution with a firearm.
"There was a significant degree of planning and pre-mediation.
"For the avoidance of doubt, you were all acting as a team."
"There has to be a message to all of those involved in gun crime.
"Guns kill. They are a considerable danger to our society."
During the sentencing hearing, a victim statement was read to the court on behalf of Mr Lewis' mother Mary Houston.
She said: "No parent should ever have to bury their child.
"No parent should lose a child, let alone have a child murdered.
"My son Christopher Lewis was senselessly killed."
The statement added: "Christopher was by no means an angel but he had a huge heart and would help anybody.
"I miss him walking in and saying 'I love you' and giving me a big kiss.
"The people who have done this will never fully comprehend what they have done to my family and I am not sure they even care.
"They have no respect for human life.
"I want my boy back but that is impossible. But all I ask is that justice is done so they can't hurt anyone else."
"I beg that this cycle of violence stops, regardless of who a person is or what they’ve done in the past.
"I don’t want another mother to be in my shoes where they bury their child.
"I don’t want any mother to see their son spend the best years of their lives in prison."