Britain's 'youngest hitman' jailed for life

24th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A teenager thought to be Britain's youngest hitman was jailed for life on Tuesday for shooting dead a young mother in a contract killing when he was just 15 years old.

Santre Sanchez Gayle, now 16, was paid just £200 (230 euros, $320) to kill 26-year-old Gulistan Subasi in March 2010.

After being found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey court in London, he was ordered to serve at least 20 years behind bars.

Wearing a hooded top pulled over his head, Gayle had knocked on the door of the flat in Hackney, east London, where the victim was staying with her mother.

Security camera footage showed him resting a sawn-off shotgun on the front gate and shooting her through the chest when she opened the door.

The court heard how the gunman was a petty criminal chosen for the grim task because he had no apparent connections with the Turkish community.

He was hired by an intermediary, Izak Billy, 22, who was also found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years.

"Anyone seeing the short but telling CCTV clip of the shooting cannot but be struck by the chillingly deliberate and cold-blooded way in which you went about your business," Judge Stephen Kramer told Gayle as he passed sentence.

The court heard how the victim, who was of Turkish origin, ran away from home to live with a man, Serdar Ozbek, with whom she had a son.

They later split up and she left Britain to live in Turkey, leaving the child with her mother.

The boy then went to live with his father, but Subasi returned from time to time to see him. It was during a visit in March last year that she was shot.

Prosecutors had accused Ozbek of taking out the contract on his former partner but the 28-year-old was cleared.

The judge said Tuesday it was not possible to say who was behind the killing.

© 2011 AFP

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