Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds man guilty of gun murder of Gavin Clarke in Chapeltown

Gavin Clarke
Gavin Clarke was shot in the face

A man has been found guilty of murdering a father-of-two who died after being shot in the face in Leeds.

Gavin Clarke, 34, died in hospital four days after he was shot in Savile Place, Chapeltown, on 8 August.

Afzal Arif, 23, of Elford Grove, Harehills, was found guilty of murder after a trial at Leeds Crown Court. He will be sentenced on Monday.

Sohail Mahmood, 28, of Savile Road, Chapeltown, was cleared of murder and of manslaughter.

Community thanked

The court heard the shooting happened after a row over accusations that Arif had assaulted a cousin of Mr Clarke.

Arif was waiting in his car while Mr Clarke worked out in Savile Park and then shot him on the face and neck with 85 shotgun pellets.

The murder sparked two nights of disturbances in Chapeltown and Harehills.

Afzal Arif
Arif was told he would be given a life sentence

Speaking after the trial Det Ch Insp Lisa Griffin, of West Yorkshire Police, said Mr Clarke was "in the prime of his life" and a loving father of two children.

She said: "This event took place during civil unrest across the UK and it is to the credit of his family and local people that there was not widespread disorder across Leeds as a result.

"Many members of the Chapeltown community worked hard to support the police in keeping tensions under control and I am grateful to all those who assisted with this large-scale murder investigation."

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