Three thugs who hired an assassin to shoot a man dead on the orders of a Dubai-based drug dealer as part of a £100,000 ‘movie-like’ murder plot are facing jail.
The victim was blasted five times in front of his partner and child by a hitman who knocked on his door disguised as a Tesco worker and asked: ‘Are you expecting a delivery?’
He was left fighting for his life with gunshot wounds to his face, arm and hand but ‘remarkably survived’ the attack in his own home in Birmingham.
A court heard Craig Miller, 37, Elijah Stokes, 37, and Connor Palmer, 37, had hired the would-be assassin to carry out the murder plot in May 2020.
The target had owed money to a high-level UK drug dealer currently living in Dubai and the group paid a gunman £40,000 to carry out the hit.
Jurors were told the victim’s partner opened the door to their home in the Sheldon area of the city to find a man in a Tesco jacket and wearing a high-vis vest.
He asked if she was ‘expecting a delivery’ and said: ‘He’s here, isn’t he’ before walking into the house and opening fire at the man.
A young child was in the house at the time but was luckily not injured.
In the weeks after the murder attempt, the ‘Mr Big’ dealer in Dubai told Miller he wanted another man to be killed.
He sent a photo with the caption ‘That’s him’, to which Miller chillingly replied ‘Clips going in his head’.
West Midlands Police said the messages found on an encrypted EncroChat phone belonging to Palmer helped bring down the global organised crime figures.
Detectives found Palmer, Miller and another man formed a group which was paid £100,00 by the high-level drug dealer to kill their victim.
Stokes arranged for the car and gun to be delivered to the hitman, who has never been identified.
Miller, of Epsom, Surrey, Stokes, of Earlsdon, Coventry and Palmer, of Norbury, South London, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder at Birmingham Crown Court.
Miller was also found guilty of conspiracy to murder the second person following the three month long trial, although the shooting never actually took place.
The trio will be sentenced at a later date.
Detective Inspector Gemma Currie said afterwards: ‘The messages we uncovered as part of this investigation make for truly chilling reading and are like something from a movie.
‘It was a miracle that the victim of the shooting in Sheldon survived.
‘It was thanks to the EncroChat breakthrough that we were unable to unravel this conspiracy to murder.
‘The gang thought that they were able to communicate securely about their murderous plans, but thanks to the international law enforcement community, we were able to show exactly what they were planning and how they planned it.’
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