23/02/2007

Gunman jailed for Tube shootings

A gunman who injured two people during a shooting spree on the London underground has been jailed for life.

Former boxer John Laidlaw, 24, from Holloway in north London, shot at two people in Islington, north London, last May, just days after he had been guilty of racially-aggravated assault of a motorist and been given a community sentence.

He shot at black social worker Abu Kamara, 44, in the street, before shooting at another black man, Evans Baptiste, at Finsbury Park Tube station.

Mr Kamara was left fighting for life after he was shot in the throat. Mr Baptiste was not injured, but the bullet missed him and instead hit 26-year-old Emma Sheridan in the back.

Mr Baptiste had recognised Laidlaw as the man who had attacked him with a hammer earlier in the year and had chased him before Laidlaw shot at him.

The jury at the Old Bailey heard how Laidlaw had threatened to "kill all black people" after his arrest for the assault.

Laidlaw was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and two firearms charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and was ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.

However, Judge Samuel Wiggs said that there was no evidence that the shootings were racially motivated.

(KMcA)

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