Drug gang ringleader Asif Khan survived sawn-off shotgun drive-by shooting organised by Beeston 'crime boss' Wakkas Butt during south Leeds turf war
The ringleader of a south Leeds family crime survived a drive-by shooting when rival gangsters fired a sawn-off shotgun at his car as he was parked in his BMW in a street in Beeston.
Asif Khan managed to escape uninjured by "ramming" his way out of danger during the attack on Back Maud Avenue.
Khan, 26, was jailed for more than seven years on Friday (February 12), along with three of his relatives over a major cannabis supply supply conspiracy.The Khans are thought to have sold at least 40kgs of the class B drug in an 18-month operation based at their family home on Tempest Road.
During their sentencing hearing, Leeds Crown Court heard how Khan survived a shooting attempt by rivals in October 2017, around the time of the start of the conspiracy.
The men responsible for the shooting, including self-styled Beeston 'crime boss' Wakkas Butt, are serving prison sentences over the attack after they were convicted by a jury of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger
Butt, also from Beeston, styled himself as a gangster and drove a high-performance Audi RS3, carrying the number plate LS11 BOS, which is thought to refer to his self-appointed status in the postcode area where he lived.
He was jailed for 21 years in 2018.
Referring to the shooting incident, Judge Tom Bayliss told Butt as he imposed the sentence: "LS11 BOS speaks for itself.
"You were obviously claiming control of territory in that area.
"You represent a serious public danger and the public who live in fear can rest assured that the courts will not shirk from passing sentences to protect the communities which you blight."
Jurors at Butt's trial heard how the windscreen of Khan's BMW was damaged but he escaped unharmed.
Khan was "the intended victim" when shots were fired at close range from a sawn-off shotgun from a VW Passat.
Two men in the Passat were wearing balaclavas.
Khan, who had a passenger in his vehicle, managed to "ram" his way out and escape without injury.
The incident happened at 1.45am on October 28, 2017, on Back Maud Avenue, behind Manny's Fisheries.
Relatives of the Khan family were the victims of arson attacks three days later when two cars, worth £70,000, were set alight.
An Audi Quattro, worth £50,000, and a VW Golf, worth £20,000, were set alight outside a house in Sheffield.
Neighbours who witnessed the incident in the early hours of October 31 were threatened.
One of the men involved in the arson attack also swung an axe at a passing taxi.
Despite the group’s attempts to cover their tracks, painstaking research of the men’s mobile phone locations, vehicle movements and checks on CCTV built up a clear
evidential picture that led to their convictions following a month-long trial.
Back in 2016, Butt and six other men were the first in Leeds to be made the subject of gang injunctions - so-called 'gangbos' - in response to a tit-for-tat feud that brought fear to the streets of Beeston with a total of 94 offences over a two-year period in roughly a square mile.
These included robberies, assaults, kidnappings, and a large number of arsons and criminal damage against properties and vehicles.
The injunctions, made under the Policing and Crime Act 2009, placed strict limitations on the subjects including exclusion zones and restrictions on who they can associate with and the vehicles, addresses and mobile phones they used.
After escaping the shooting unscathed, Khan and his relatives went on the run a 'ring and bring' drug line in which they became the 'market leader' in the supply of cannabis in south Leeds.
An average of 200 phone calls per day were made to the line over an 18-month period
Describing the sophistication of the conspiracy, an officer in the case stated in a report: “In my experience and opinion I believe that the individuals involved in this organised crime group have a highly successful and lucrative drug dealing business modelled on the “ring and bring” model.
"This organised crime group have focused on delivering high quality cannabis skunk varieties concentrating in the south Leeds area and I believe that they are the 'market leader' in terms of quality of product, pricing and service delivery.
"This is evidenced by the volume of recovered cannabis street deals and the volume of text messages from their customers, many of them requesting £20 cannabis skunk deals, which are unique to south Leeds.
"This, in my opinion, demonstrates that they have adapted their business model to create and facilitate a niche market.
"This makes them stand out from any potential rivals and bears the hallmarks of a tightly knit and highly focused organised crime group where individuals have roles and
responsibilities ensuring that they generate as much cash as they can for the group.”