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Man guilty of murdering father-of-three in shooting outside Wembley chicken shop

Met Police handout of Courtney Ellis, who killed his gang rival Craig Small (Met Police)
Met Police handout of Courtney Ellis, who killed his gang rival Craig Small (Met Police)

A man has been convicted of murder after his gang rival was shot dead outside a Wembley fast food outlet more than four years ago.

Father-of-three Michael Small was shot twice outside a chicken shop on Harrow Road on July 5, 2019, as the victim stood waiting for his takeaway.

Two bullets were fired from close range. Although the second shot missed him, Mr Small - who was nicknamed Craig - died in hospital the same night, aged 32.

At the Old Bailey, 38-year-old Courtney Ellis was also found guilty of attempted murder of a different man and perverting the course of justice.

Michael 'Craig' Small was killed in Wembley (Met Police)
Michael 'Craig' Small was killed in Wembley (Met Police)

He will be sentenced on February 2 at the same court, alongside Christopher Kyei, 37, who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at the same trial.

Detective superintendent Helen Rance, who led the investigation, said the murder was linked to gang activity.

“Craig was targeted,” she said. “His murder planned and brutally carried out in the streets of Wembley. Craig’s death is thoroughly senseless and serves as a tragic reminder of the utter futility of gang violence – it achieves nothing other than devastating families and unleashing more violence on London’s streets.”

The Met said a masked man ran along the pavement towards Mr Small, shooting him, before running around the corner and getting into a waiting car.

Detectives later learned it was Courtney Ellis waiting in the driver’s seat of a blue Mini using false registration plates.

Christopher Kyei has been brought to justice (Met Police)
Christopher Kyei has been brought to justice (Met Police)

Immediately after killing Mr Small, Ellis and the gunman drove to Bridge Road in Wembley. At the location, the gunman attempted to fire at the windscreen of a parked white Mercedes toward the intended victim but the gun failed.

Detectives identified a number of unregistered phones used by Ellis and Kyei in the lead up to the murder. Using CCTV and phone data, they were able to prove the guilt of Ellis throughout a nine-week trial.

Mr Small’s mother Carol Campbell said: “Not a minute goes by where Craig is still not at the forefront of our minds. His murder has totally destroyed what’s left of us as a family.

“Craig was a father of three young children and his loss to us all is immeasurable. A caring and kind man taken from us all with no justification. That fact is a burden we will have to carry until the day we die.”