Two “evil” gunmen have been jailed for at least 29 years for shooting a “gentle giant” dead on his doorstep in a case of mistaken identity.
Chad Gordon, 27, was blasted in the face when he opened his door to a pair of assassins, who had travelled to his north London home on a stolen moped intent on revenge.
The shooting, during the first coronavirus lockdown last year, was said to have been in retribution for the death of the killers’ friend Jemal Ebrahim, who had been stabbed five days before.
However, Mason Sani-Semedo and Cameron Robinson went to the wrong address and shot Mr Gordon instead.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Sani-Semedo, 19, from Tottenham, north London, and Robinson, 20, of Dagenham, were found guilty of murder and possession of a gun with intent.
On Tuesday, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb jailed the pair for life with a minimum term of 29 years.
She said Mr Gordon was an “ordinary, dignified, decent man” who was “entirely innocent”.
The judge said: “The hurt caused by his evil murder is immeasurable.”
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told the court that both defendants played an equal part in the killing which contributed to “the senseless cycle of death and destruction on the streets of London”.
She told the defendants: “It was a considered, high-stakes attempt at a swift, polished assassination.”
The judge acknowledged moving victim impact statements from the victim’s parents.
On learning of her son’s killing, Mr Gordon’s mother Ann Marie Wilson, said: “My world shattered, my heart broke into tiny pieces and cannot be mended.
“Chad was my world, my everything, but most of all my first born and he was no more. Our lives have been ruined.”
Mr Gordon’s father Narson Gordon said: “Anyone who knew or met Chad would instantly recognise ‘a gentle giant’ with humility to match. The hurt and anguish caused by his evil murder is immeasurable.
“It is heart wrenchingly sad that Chad was not allowed to flourish and live beyond the age of 27. I wish this for no parent.”
During the trial, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC had said Mr Gordon, who had autism, was the “last person anyone would want to kill”.
He was described as a shy and quiet “gentle giant” who was well-liked and polite.
On May 18 last year, the gunmen, armed with a 9mm handgun, had gone to Wiltshire Gardens in Haringey, north London, where Mr Gordon lived with his grandmother and aunt.
They knocked on the front door and fired instantly when it was opened by Mr Gordon.
A bullet struck him in the face, causing “catastrophic” injuries, the court heard.
Mr Gordon’s family and friends were alerted to the gunfire and the crash as he collapsed on the ground, jurors heard.
The victim’s aunt shouted at the killers as they ran back to the moped.
Without breaking stride, they pointed the gun at her and told her to shut up before escaping, the court heard.
The woman threw herself to the ground to cover a young child, jurors heard.
Mr Glasgow said it was a “carefully planned” attack, apart from one essential aspect – the address.
The actual targets may have been people connected with Mr Gordon’s neighbours, he said.
Afterwards, the moped and clothes were burned on a bonfire on the Walthamstow marshes.