Batley houses riddled with bullets as drugs rivalry explodes

Issue 490

A SUSPECTED feud between drug dealers brought terror to Batley last weekend in three linked shootings.
Shots were fired at a house in Manor Way, Staincliffe, at around 12.15am on Saturday morning, following which more shots were fired at another house around 4.45am on Sunday in Hawthorne Avenue, yards from the first incident.
A similar shooting then took place at a third residence in Conway Crescent, Batley Carr, at around 1.55am on Monday.
All three properties had windows and their front doors damaged, although nobody was hurt.
Police were at each scene in minutes after residents reported the gunshots.
Eight men aged between 18 and 28 were arrested. Six have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.
One man remains in custody while another, Tahbassum Hussain, 25, was charged was firearms offences.
Hussain, of Woodfield Avenue, Staincliffe, appeared at Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
He was remanded into custody and will appear there again next for the case to be committed to Leeds Crown Court.
A Manor Way resident, who did not want to be named, said the shootings revolved around the activities of a man wellknown to local residents as a drug dealer.
She said: “Cars come down here all the time and I see him come out and pass things to them through the windows.”
Of the first shooting she said: “I was woken by the shots. I looked out of my window and saw two Asian men doing something by a window below.
“They then ran to a car and drove off. It was frightening. I had to have a friend come and stay with me as I’ve got a baby.”
Rumours sweeping the community were that a drugs dealer based in Manor Way lost his Batley Carr ‘turf’ after being sent to prison.
He is out now and is believed to have assaulted the new drugs kingpin who also lives on the Staincliffe estate in the early hours of Friday.
Locals believed that dealer retaliated by organising the initial shootings – and that men from Bradford had then been recruited to carry out the 2nd incident.
The Press understands 14 shots were fired in this second incident, seven from an 8mm calibre weapon and seven from a 5.5mm gun. It is believed six bullets were recovered from the house. The front door has been removed for analysis.
That then led to another act of retaliation in Conway Crescent.
Conway Crescent was cordoned off on Monday morning and forensic teams were combing the scene.
Another resident, who also did not want to be named, said the ‘target’ in the third shooting is thought to be related to the woman whose house was fired at.
People living nearby alleged the young man was involved in the distribution of hard drugs.
One resident said: “I’ve heard it was just to frighten him. They were warning shots. And they don’t do things like that over a bit of cannabis.”
Police enquiries into the shootings are ongoing. Anyone with information can all the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 0845 606 0606.

A PUBLIC meeting is to be organised over the shootings. Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West) said the details have yet to be confirmed but he is working with police, Batley councillor colleagues and staff from other agencies on organising it.
Monday’s shooting in Conway Cresent, Batley Carr, was just inside Batley West while the two Staincliffe incidents were in the Batley East ward.
The meeting’s aim is to inform the public about what happened and give them a chance to tell what they know about drug dealing. He said: “It will be an opportunity for the police to say what the facts are. There are a lot of rumours and tension in the community.
“We also need people to come forward with information. These problems are being taken very seriously by the authorities.
“But for criminal activity to be dealt with, we need to get the community more involved with the authorities on local issues.”

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