Life sentences for New Year killers

Four men convicted of the murder of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nathan Martin, 25, Charlene's half-brother, Marcus Ellis, 24, Michael Gregory, 22 and Rodrigo Simms, 20 were found guilty of the murders of Charlene, 18 and Letisha, 17 outside a hair salon in Aston, Birmingham on January 2, 2003.

The girls had been attending a party at the salon, when the killers, using a sub-machine gun, gunned them down. The jury had been told that the girls had been murdered in a row between rival gangs, which had gone wrong. Charlene's twin sister, Sophie and their friends Cheryl Shaw and Leon Harris were also injured in the attack.

During sentencing today, Martin, Ellis and Gregory were told that they must serve at least 35 years before parole could be considered. Simms was sentenced to 27 years.

Martin, Ellis and Gregory were also found guilty of the attempted murder of Sophie Ellis, Cheryl Shaw and Leon Harris. Simms was convicted of the attempted murder of Ms Ellis and Ms Shaw, but cleared of the attempted murder of Mr Harris.

All four men had denied the charges against them.


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