A man who drove around an estate with a loaded firearm and shot a teenager who his girlfriend was romantically involved with multiple times has been sentenced.

Waele Bittar, 20, of no fixed address, has been sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Monday (April 6).

Police were called to Williams Way, just off Harrow Road in Sudbury, on the night of December 3, 2018, to reports of gunshots.

A teenager, 19, was found by police and ambulance services as he suffered from multiple gunshot injuries to his leg.

He was taken to a north London hospital where his injuries were assessed as not life-threatening.

Witnesses told officers they saw a dark coloured car drive-off at speed after the shooting – this vehicle was later linked to Bittar.

Bittar was later identified as a suspect after a series of investigations including reviewing CCTV and tracking mobile phone and vehicle movements.

Bittar, also known as ‘Alex,’ was arrested at an address in Luton on January 9, 2019, on suspicion of attempted murder. He was taken to a north London police station.

He quickly moved out of London the same night to Chesham, before later moving to Luton.

As part of their enquiries, officers also gathered evidence against Bittar who was captured on CCTV assaulting his ex-girlfriend at about 4.35pm on the same day of the shooting.

As a result, he was further arrested in custody on suspicion of common assault.

During the time between the assault and the shooting, there were several phone calls between Bittar and his ex-girlfriend – with them becoming more frequent in the minutes leading up to the shooting.

The court heard that Bittar’s ex-girlfriend was romantically involved with the victim.

Bittar drove around the estate three times, with a loaded gun in the car, until he spotted the 19-year-old victim, confronted him and shot him by opening the driver’s door.

Detective Sergeant John Cowell, from Specialist Crime, said: “Bittar is a dangerous individual who callously gunned down a 19-year-old man in the street. To add to this, he subjected his ex-partner to a prolonged abusive relationship, beating her in the street just hours before the shooting. Bittar demonstrated he was not afraid to use extreme violence and he now faces a lengthy stint behind bars.

“Not only was he violent, but he was also concerned in the cultivation and supply of cannabis alongside Helmesi, polluting the streets of London with drugs. This type of behaviour is unacceptable and the Met will continue to crackdown on individuals who think they are above the law.”

Following his arrest, police searched an address linked to Bittar in Edgware, where they found a cannabis factory with more than 150 plants.

Harrow Times:

Some of the cannabis recovered (Photo: Met Police)

He was arrested further on suspicion of the drug offences.

He was charged on January 10, 2019

Through their enquiries, detectives established that Bittar was working with a man called Enea Helmesi to cultivate and supply the cannabis.

Helmesi, 27, of Heybourne Crescent, Barnet, was linked to further cannabis factories. He was arrested on Thursday, 11 April 2019 and charged the following day.

Harrow Times:

Enea Helmesi (Photo: Met Police)

He pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court on May 22, 2019, to conspiracy to supply drugs with Bittar, two counts of production and possession of a cannabis with intent to supply, possession of criminal property (£10,000) and two counts of false identification with improper intention.

On July 3, 2019, Bittar he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with possessing a firearm, but he was found not guilty of attempted murder.