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Drive-by shooting killer snared after police find his lyrics about crime

·2-min read
Rajae Heslop wrote lyrics about the drive-by shooting he carried out. (Met)
Rajae Heslop wrote lyrics about the drive-by shooting he carried out. (Met)

A drive-by shooting killer has been jailed after police discovered lyrics he had written about the crime.

Leon Maxwell, 38, was gunned down and found slumped in the communal area of a block of flats in May 2018.

He and another man had been shot near Queensbury station by gunmen on a stolen moped, the Old Bailey heard.

Rajae Heslop, 22, was found in possession of song lyrics he had written describing the incident which help detectives bring him to justice. He was jailed for life for murder and attempted murder.

Saharded Hassan, 28, and Irwin Constable, 20, were slapped with the same sentences.

The court court was told police were called to reports of a shooting on Essoldo Way and firearms officers and paramedics were dispatched to the scene.

They found Leon Maxwell with gunshot wounds and second man self-presented at hospital having been shot.

A police statement said: “Heslop was identified but he had fled the country. He was arrested more than a year after the investigation was launched, having returned to UK thinking it was safe to do so. A thorough search of his home address by officers revealed a set of lyrics which he had written in what police say depicted his involvement in the murder of Leon Maxwell.”

Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command launched an investigation and established that the victims had been sitting in a car when they were approached by two suspects on a stolen moped before the pillion passenger fired five shots into the car.

Officers trawled hundreds of hours of CCTV cameras and found DNA from one of the killers on a bullet casing.

In March 2019, five men were arrested and 131 mobiles phones seized from their homes, creating further forensic - and analysis - opportunities.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, said: “The investigation team has worked tirelessly since 2018 to get to the truth about what happened on Essoldo Way in order to not only bring those involved before the courts, but to get some form of resolution for Leon’s family.

“This case highlights that even when suspects make every attempt to hide their identities, through hard work and forensic opportunities, we will always endeavour to find them.

“Three men involved this murder have been given lengthy prison sentences, the professed gang leader Saharded Hassan received 32 years for his involvement.

“I would encourage anyone with information regarding gun crime to contact police. Together, we can take these dangerous weapons off of our streets and make London safer for everyone.”

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