Three jailed for doorman murder


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The Independent Online

Three men were jailed for life today for the "calculated and cold-blooded" murder of a nightclub doorman.

Bahman Faraji, 44, was blasted in the head with a sawn-off shotgun after being lured to his death by gangland rivals.

Gunman Edward Heffey, 41, was jailed for a minimum of 35 years and Jason Gabbana, 29, who ordered the shooting, was ordered to serve at least 33 years at Liverpool Crown Court.

Simon Smart, 33, who arranged for Mr Faraji to be at the scene, received a minimum term of 31 years.

Former Brookside actor Brian Regan, 53, who admitted being Heffey's getaway driver, was cleared of murder but convicted of perverting the course of justice earlier this year and has already been sentenced to four years and 10 months.

Mr Faraji, accused by Gabbana's defence of drug dealing and running an illegal protection racket, was gunned down at close range after he was lured to the Belgrave pub in Aigburth, Liverpool, on the evening of February 24 last year.

Heffey, Gabbana and Smart, all from Liverpool, were convicted of murder by 11 to one majorities.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said: "The murder of Bahman Faraji was as calculated as it was cold-blooded.

"This was a carefully planned and executed killing carried out upon the instructions of Jason Gabbana."

The motive for the killing was never established but is thought to have been the result of a gangland feud.

Ex-actor Regan, of St Mary's Road, Liverpool, admitted driving gunman Heffey to and from the scene of the hit but told the jury he did not know his passenger was carrying a sawn off shotgun and planning to kill Mr Faraji.

The former star was hooked on cocaine and began dealing the drug to fund his habit following the demise of his showbiz career, his trial heard.

After he gave evidence in which he admitted driving the gunman, the court ordered security to be stepped up around Regan and security guards sat between him and the rest of the defendants.

He was also designated a "vulnerable prisoner" and held in an isolation wing in jail.

Gabbana. who stood trial separately to the others because he was arrested only last August, showed no emotion as he was jailed.

Mrs Justice Davies told him he was "the instigator" of the crime.

"You chose to take the law into your own hands and nobody in this country is allowed to do that," she said.

Addressing Heffey, the judge said: "You were the gunman who cold-bloodedly raised the gun to the face of Bahman Faraji and fired the shot which killed him."

She said he had previously been jailed for 12 years for acting as the getaway driver in two armed robberies and added: "You chose to take on this role and you know more than most the consequences of firearm related crime."

As he was escorted down to the cell, Heffey hurled abuse at police officers sitting in the public gallery.

Smart, who used a pay-as-you-go mobile phone to make contact with Mr Faraji and lure him to the pub, was "central to the planning and execution of the murder," the judge said.

"You developed a relationship with Bahman Faraji as a result of which you were able to lure him to the place where he was to be killed by Edward Heffey," she added.

Speaking about the victim and his family, Mrs Justice Davies said: "Whatever has been said during this case, Bahman Faraji was a father and it is clear that his young son is devastated by his death."

She also paid tribute to the police, adding: "The investigation of this case by the major investigation team of Merseyside Police was detailed and complex, including the gathering and analysing of tens of thousands of telephone calls.

"I am in no doubt it was an intelligent and extensive investigation which led step-by-step to identifying those involved in this murder."

The judge ordered that her praise for those involved in the case be passed on to the Chief Constable of Merseyside.