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Gunman jailed for nightclub attack

PUBLISHED: 17:02 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

Abdi Samanter: targeted club

Abdi Samanter: targeted club

A MOTORBIKE-riding gunman who fired a volley of shots at bouncers outside a busy nightclub after they refused to let him in has been jailed for 11 years. Abdi Samanter, 26, pulled up on a motorbike at 2.40am and indiscriminately fired a handgun into a pac

A MOTORBIKE-riding gunman who fired a volley of shots at bouncers outside a busy nightclub after they refused to let him in has been jailed for 11 years.

Abdi Samanter, 26, pulled up on a motorbike at 2.40am and indiscriminately fired a handgun into a packed crowd of Christmas partygoers outside Sosho, in Tabernacle Street, Finsbury, last December.

Just minutes earlier he had been barred from entering the club with a group of friends - sparking a scuffle which saw them kick over barriers and hurl glass bottles at the bouncers.

But having "miraculously" missed his target as he sought revenge, pillion passenger Samanter then fell off the bike as it sped off towards City Road at high speed.

Deserted by his accomplice, he continued firing shots at the fearless bouncers and a heroic passing taxi driver as they chased him along Worship Street.

The intrepid trio pounced on the gunman around the corner in Dysart Street, where he was arrested by police.

Detective Inspector Michael Millar, from Scotland Yard's Trident gun crime unit, said: "Samanter carried out the shooting in order to teach the two door men a lesson because they had refused him entry to the club.

"He used a revolver to shoot five times at door staff and members of the public at close range - it was miracle no one was hit."

Samanter, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder and told he would serve a minimum of 11 years in prison at the Old Bailey last Thursday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of prohibited ammunition and possession of a firearm while being a prohibited person.

DI Millar added: "Today's conviction could not have been achieved without the courage and bravery shown by two doormen and a passing taxi driver who chased and caught Samanter, even though he levelled his firearm and shot at them. I would like to thank the men for their actions and for giving evidence at court. It is thanks to them, and the determination and tenacity of officers from Trident that a dangerous individual is now off our streets and behind bars."

Jonathan Downey said: "I'm astounded at the result. It's rare something like this happens and we get the result we want. Well done to the police and our door team - they've worked with us for a long time and they do a brilliant job."

The incident followed a separate, unrelated shooting at Ghost nightclub, in Farringdon Road, 24 hours earlier.

In March this year Sosho and neighbouring private members club The East Rooms were raised to the ground in a massive inferno tackled by 100 firefighters.


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