Kimani Martin was found shot dead in a taxi wearing his killer’s chain around his neck on 20th June 2021. This week three men have been convicted over the killing of a teenager in a revenge attack – after we were able to link them to the fatal shooting. Kimani Martin was in a taxi which was chased down by a group in another car in Tividale in the early hours of 20 June last year.
Kisharne Campbell admitted to firing the shotgun, but claimed it was to get the taxi to stop after he’d earlier been kidnapped and robbed of personal belongings by 18-year-old Kimani and two unknown associates. However, Campbell was today (22 June) convicted of murder alongside Atif Khan who was the driver of the car which helped hunt Kimani down. A third member of the group Usman Amjad was convicted of manslaughter.
Homicide detectives collated CCTV, ring door bell and phone record evidence as we quickly connected the group to the killing. It led to two of them being arrested within days and the other – who fled the country – was detained on his return from Pakistan months later.
The court heard drug dealer Campbell had earlier been bundled into his own car and then robbed of his mobile phone and jewellery. Campbell’s phone was used to make the booking and was found – along with his neck chain – in the cab following the killing. The court has heard that Kimani Martin, aged 18, befriended Campbell at a music studio, arranged to meet him and then kidnapped him and Adams at gunpoint. Adams was stuffed in the boot of a car as Martin ordered Campbell to take them to Adams’ home to steal money.
Mr Reiz explained that Martin had stolen Campbell’s distinctive “Kash” necklace which he wore in hip hop videos, and the mobile phone which was a drugs hotline. Martin and his two associates then left Campbell on the road and parked the car in Tipton with Adams still in the boot, later to be released by Campbell. The pair then got in a VW Golf with Amjad and Khan and began searching for Martin. After spotting Martin near Tipton Sports and Social Club in a taxi, the Golf gave chase leading to Martin being shot dead.
Mr Reiz said: “They (Martin and two associates) had stolen thousands of pounds worth of money, jewellery, and a mobile phone, which is important to a drug dealer. Campbell wanted to get what was taken from him back, revenge could be planned later. “Amjad phoned 1-2-1 Taxis to find out where those who had kidnapped Campbell were. If he wanted to be spiteful he would have accused one of the others of handing him the gun, instead he said he could not remember.
“He unlawfully killed Mr Martin, so he pleaded to manslaughter as he did not mean to kill him. Both vehicles were moving, he intended the shot to be a warning to stop the taxi to get his stuff back.” He added: “Mr Martin was sitting in the rear passenger seat, but the shot did not go sideways into the window but instead at an angle through the boot. It would take skill and experience to successfully aim and hit a target whilst moving.”
The three other defendants claimed they were unaware Campbell would shoot Martin, believing he just wanted to recover his belongings. Adams’ defence barrister, Hossein Zahir, explained his client was “gullible” for going along with Campbell to meet Martin, which led to him stuffed in the boot of a car, taken to his Walsall home, beaten and robbed. While in the boot the vehicle was chased by police, “scaring” him. After promptly tracing them the fatal shot was fired in Dudley Road East. They circled the area looking for Kimani’s two associates who managed to escape with their lives.
A police van happened to be in the area at the time but the Golf – which was to be found torched the next day – fled from them. The Specials on board then quickly got to the scene and valiantly tried to save Kimani’s life. Following the killing the group went to a friend’s nearby address and Campbell and Amjad ordered a taxi to a hostel where the latter was temporarily staying in Wednesbury. Despite having only just been involved in a killing they casually picked up a fast food takeaway on their way.
The following morning Campbell was captured on CCTV speaking to another resident at the hostel and re-enacting the firing of a gun. Amjad had asked another resident to dispose of bedding from his room, but having quickly identified the suspects we managed to seize this before it could be destroyed. Forensic analysis showed particles of gunshot residue. Campbell, aged 24, of Vicarage Road, Tipton and Amjad (22), of Wood Green Road, Wednesbury, were arrested inside four days. Amjad was arrested at Heathrow Airport. Khan (25) from Park Lane in Tipton; had left the country but he was arrested on the aeroplane as he arrived back in the county in October.
They were convicted following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. They will be sentenced next Wednesday (29 June). Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, who led the investigation, said: “This was the targeted shooting of a young man and it would have been a triple killing had Kimani’s two associates not managed to run for their lives. “It’s inconceivable none of them knew a loaded shotgun was on board and the intention was to seek retribution. Although Campbell fired the fatal gun shot, they acted together to hunt Kimani down and quite rightly been convicted for their involvement in his death. “The pain of losing a loved one never fully goes away and we can hope these convictions ease some of the suffering his family continue to feel.”