Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Pub killer jailed for 37 years

Gunman Saturday Hassan was jailed for 37 years after a fatal shooting at a Croydon pub
Saturday Hassan is seen holding a gun after being thrown out of a pub in Croydon

A gunman has been jailed for a minimum of 37 years and given three life sentences for shooting two brothers in the head in front of their publican father.

One son died while the other made a "miraculous" recovery despite still having three bullets in his head.

Saturday Hassan launched his attack after being thrown out of the family's Newton Arms pub in Croydon, south London, during a party to celebrate the New Year.

He returned with a gun and shot brothers Darren and Junior Deslandes, who were helping father Wintworth, 58, in "10 seconds of devastation", the Old Bailey heard.

Hassan, 30, of Sydenham, south London, was found guilty on Thursday of murder and attempted murder on January 1, and a firearms charge, on majority verdicts. He was cleared of a further charge of attempting to murder the brothers' father.

Judge David Paget told Hassan he devastated the Deslandes family, physically, mentally and financially, when he fired eight bullets at the two men. He said Hassan produced the semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and opened fire on the brothers as they tried to disarm him for the safety of people in the pub. "It was brave and right of them to do so," said the judge.

The brothers were shot in front of their mother, father and younger brother. Three bullets were still lodged in Junior's head because it was too dangerous to remove them. He would be affected all his life and may never work again.

Builder Hassan had been a man of good character but was attracted by the gangster lifestyle, driving a BMW 4x4 car and having a gun. Judge Paget said: "That car and that gun are the trappings of a gangster. You have no convictions but you appear to be someone who admires that style of life."

Hassan fired three bullets into housing officer Darren, 34, killing him with one which went into his brain. Junior, a 26-year-old estate agent, was shot at five times, with one of the .32 bullets remaining in his skull and two embedded near his jaw after passing through his shoulder.

Edward Brown QC, prosecuting, said two others brushed past his head leaving scars. He had missed death by a fraction when he moved his head, and despite still receiving treatment he came to court to help convict his brother's killer.

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