Three killers await fate after jury returns not-guilty verdicts in Hartlepool shotgun murder trial
Three people have been found guilty of manslaughter after an alleged drug dealer was shot and killed in Hartlepool.
Four men stood trial at Teesside Crown Court for over two months after they were charged with the murder of Kurdistan-born British citizen Hemawand Ali Hussein.
Mr Hussein, 30, died instantly after he was shot inside a terraced house in Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, on September 14, 2019, the trial heard.
The jury was told Mr Hussein, who was said to be a cannabis dealer, was lured to the house by an Albanian drug gang on the pretext of using it for a cannabis farm and was then killed over a dispute.
On Wednesday, March 24, all four of the accused were cleared of murder.
But Noza Saffari, 39, Qazim Marku, 25, and Dorian Pirija, 33, were instead found guilty of manslaughter.
The fourth defendant, Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough, was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter and was discharged.
The trial heard that the three guilty men all attended a “planning meeting” in Bolton on September 5 to discuss the attack.
Saffari, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, arrived at the house in Charterhouse Street with Mr Hussein on the day he was killed.
He was also caught on CCTV leaving the scene and getting into a black Hyundai with four other men immediately after the killing.
The vehicle was set on fire just off the A19 in North Yorkshire a short time later.
Pirija, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton, picked up Marku and other men from the burning vehicle after the killing.
His grey Fiat car was seen close to Charterhouse Street two days before Mr Hussain was killed.
Marku, an illegal immigrant of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London, was present at the time of the killing and was also seen fleeing the scene.
But he said he was in another room upstairs when the trigger was pulled.
During the trial, Mr Hussein’s partner, Jennifer Buller, said she believed he had been killed because of his links to drugs.
She also described him as the type of person who could make friends with anyone.
Saffari, Marku and Pirija will be sentenced by High Court Judge Mr Justice Wall on Thursday, March 25.
The defendants were remanded in custody.
*For sentencing updates, log onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk