A prisoner admitted taking part in a drive-by shooting after a family feud on the day a retrial was due to begin, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Nasir Mohammed Alam, 35, from Cheetham Hill, was given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum of 15 years to serve before parole could be considered, for attempted murder in 2008.
But after he had already spent nearly eight years in prison, his conviction on the attempted murder was quashed on appeal and he was granted a retrial.
On Monday, Alam was expected to go on trial again for the offences, which involved opening fire on “bitter enemies” in the street.
Instead he finally admitted involvement in the shooting, pleading guilty to lesser charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
Prosecutor Rob Kearney said the shooting “arose out of a family feud, and not out of gun or gang culture”.
The court heard that the feud involved Alam and the family of a man who allegedly had a relationship with his sister.
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On 22 September 2007, a member of the opposing family was in a Volkswagen Golf outside Woodfield Road, Cheetham Hill, when gunmen opened fire on his car.
One of his friends was shot in the chest with a converted Russian Baikal 9mm pistol. Another was shot in the head.
Prosecutors now accept that the injury to the man’s head was caused by an airgun, and that the airgun was fired by Alam.
On that basis Alam’s plea to grievous bodily harm was accepted and the charges of attempted murder were left to lie on file.
Alam has now been sentenced to ten years in prison at Manchester Crown Court by Mr Justice Nicol.
However, after serving eight years on the attempted murder conviction, which has been quashed, he can now expect to be released soon.
Nina Grahame, defending, said the feud had gone both ways, with a history of the parties making false allegations against one another before the shooting.
“I don’t in any way suggest it justifies violent conduct”, she added. “The most important context is the fact that this feuding appears to have ceased between these parties.”
Miss Grahame added that married Alam, who has two school-age children, had “missed some of the most important years of their lives”.