The partner of a murdered Northampton man has spoken of her pain in telling her children how their father died - on the day his killers were handed lengthy jail terms.
Jerome Smikle, 27, of Northampton, and Kayongo Shuleko, 26, of London, were both found guilty yesterday at the end of a six-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering Joshua Bains. Today they were both sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years each.
Lewis Carmody, 22, of Northampton, who was convicted of assisting an offender, was sentenced to six years and six months.
Smikle and Shuleko fired multiple shots in Webb Drive, Northampton, on Thursday, October 4, 2018.
One of the shots pierced Joshua’s heart and despite the best efforts of paramedics and members of the public, who held his hand while he died, the 28-year-old passed away from his injuries at the scene.
At sentencing today, Joshua’s partner bravely took to the witness box to read out her victim impact statement in front of all three offenders and a packed public gallery.
She said that ‘my Josh’ was ‘one in a million’, ‘an amazing man who was loyal, honest, respectful, and a joy to be around.’
She spoke of the ‘impossible task’ of having to tell their two children, a son, aged three, and a daughter, aged 14, of his death, and how, even now, their son will ask ‘Why is my Daddy dead?’
In his sentencing remarks, the judge, The Honourable Mr Justice Holgate, told the court that during their evidence, Shuleko and Smikle ‘revealed themselves to be manipulative, cunning, and ruthless individuals’.
They attacked an ‘unarmed’ Joshua ‘two on one’ leaving him no chance to defend himself. The judge said his family has ‘suffered greatly from the terrible way in which Josh met his death’.
Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Ally White, said: “When the doors close on Smikle, Shuleko and Carmody this evening, their cells will be a lonely place.
“There will be no gang, no weapons and no plans for the future – all they will have is time.
“I hope these very lengthy sentences demonstrate that carrying weapons, being involved in the supply of drugs and life in a gang just aren’t worth it, and that Northamptonshire Police are absolutely committed to relentlessly pursuing not only the ones who pull the trigger but those that assist them as well.”