Four men jailed for total of 57 years after seven gunshots fired into car

Joseph Waters fire seven shots into the Honda Jazz, hitting his victim in the shoulder. (Thames Valley Police)
Joseph Waters fire seven shots into the Honda Jazz, hitting his victim in the shoulder. (Thames Valley Police)

Four men have been jailed after a gun was fired seven times into a car in a bid to kill the person inside.

Joseph Waters, 25, Cleon Douglin, 37, Lee Peppiatt, 36, and Sahit Shehu, 31, were jailed for a total of 57 years after being convicted of various charges including attempted murder. 

The charges related to an incident in Reading on 16 October, 2019, when a gun was fired seven times into the back of a Honda Jazz in an attempt to kill the 42-year-old victim inside. 

He was shot in the shoulder during the attack at about 3.30am but received hospital treatment and made a full recovery. 

A lengthy police investigation led to all four defendants being charged on 25 September, 2020, and convicted after a five-week trial at Reading Crown Court.

Leigh Peppiat was jailed for 14 years after being found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. (Thames Valley Police)
Leigh Peppiatt was jailed for 14 years after being found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. (Thames Valley Police)
Cleon Douglin was also jailed for 14 years after being convicted of  possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. (Thames Valley Police)
Cleon Douglin was also jailed for 14 years after being convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. (Thames Valley Police)

Detective Sergeant Gareth Perry, from Thames Valley Police, said: "Shortly after midnight on 16 October 2019, Sahit Shehu was involved in a road traffic collision which took place in Southampton Street, after which witnesses reporting seeing him transfer a handgun from his damaged vehicle into a BMW X5 which had arrived to pick him up.

"Inside the BMW was Lee Peppiatt, who took Shehu back to his home address, before then transporting the firearm to Laytom Rise.

Read more: Worker left temporarily blinded after laser shone in eyes at HS2 construction site

"Then a few hours later, at approximately 3.31am in Laytom Rise, Joseph Waters discharged that same firearm seven times into the back of a Honda Jazz vehicle, intending to kill a 42-year-old man who was sat inside. Peppiatt and Douglin were present with Waters.

"The victim sustained a gunshot wound to his shoulder. The victim was treated at hospital for the wound and has made a full recovery.

"After the flurry of gunshots towards the car, Waters then got into a Ford Fiesta vehicle that had been hired by Cleon Douglin, and they both fled the scene. Peppiatt left the scene in the BMW X5 vehicle that he used earlier on the same evening."

The incident happened in Laytom Rise, Reading, when seven gunshots were fired into a Honda Jazz. (Google Maps)
The incident happened in Laytom Rise, Reading, when seven gunshots were fired into a Honda Jazz. (Google Maps)

He said the investigation found that Douglin had deliberately left his mobile phone at his home address earlier in the evening, in an attempt to convince police he was at home when the shooting took place.

Det Sgt Perry said: "This was a long and complex investigation. Due to the evidence collected, we were able to show that Joseph Waters intended to kill the man who was sat in the Honda Jazz vehicle that night. 

"He fired seven shots towards the rear of the car, in the early hours of the morning in a quiet cul-de sac in Reading, clearly showing absolutely no regards for the community in what must have been a terrifying thing to hear or witness."

Officers later found a "significant quantity of controlled drugs" in a vehicle linked to Waters, and more at another property linked to him, he said. 

Sahit Shehu, 31, of Bunces Lane in Burghfield, was also convicted by a jury and jailed for five years. (Thames Valley Police)
Sahit Shehu, 31, of Bunces Lane in Burghfield, was also convicted by a jury and jailed for five years. (Thames Valley Police)

He added: "The lengthy sentences handed down in Reading Crown Court clearly demonstrates that neither the police or the courts will tolerate any kind of violent crime."

Waters, of Laytom Rise in Tilehurst, was jailed for 24 years after being convicted of attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and two counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

Douglin, of Coley Avenue in Reading, and Peppiatt, of Corinne Close in Whitley, were jailed for 14 years each after being found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Shehu, of Bunces Lane in Burghfield, was jailed for five years after being convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Two other defendants, Joshua and Monique Sofroniou, were found not guilty of the charges they faced.

Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK News