Man jailed for life for Erdington murder
A man has been jailed for life for the murder of a rival he shot dead with a handgun in broad daylight in a Birmingham street.
Keanu Bedward opened fire and killed 28-year-old Remal Hunt in Church Road, Erdington, at midday on 18 April.
He fled the country later that day having boarded an evening flight to Dubai - but West Midlands Police caught him trying to sneak back into the UK through Manchester Airport 11 days later as officers lay in wait in the arrivals area.
An extensive CCTV trawl carried out by detectives showed Bedward behind the wheel of his black VW Golf in Erdington High Street when another black Golf containing Remal Hunt pulled up alongside.
Police believe it was a “chance" meeting between feuding street gang factions - and one that moments later led to murder as Bedward tailed the other vehicle into Church Road where he opened fire.
Detectives found Bedward’s car abandoned in Stonechat Drive and CCTV footage shows the killer with a woman in nearby Alwynn Walk; just four hours later Bedward booked a one-way ticket to Dubai and flew out from Manchester Airport at 9.15pm.
On 26 April a handgun weighted down inside a black ‘man-bag’ was recovered beside Bartley Green reservoir by fire service crew on a training exercise.
It was forensically examined and returned a DNA hit to Bedward and detectives suspect it’s the weapon he used to kill Mr Hunt.
Bedward was detained at Manchester Airport on 29 April after police intelligence suggested the 25-year-old planned to return to the UK.
He denied involvement in the murder but a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today (14 November) found him guilty and he was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
Remal’s family paid tribute to him in a statement that read: “Remal was a very much-loved son, brother and father who was kind-hearted and will be sadly missed."
Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield, who led the investigation, added: “Bedward was identified as a suspect at an early stage in the investigation and, knowing he’d fled the country, we were ready for his return and our officers were waiting for him at the airport.
“This was a shocking murder in which a firearm was discharged in the middle of the day in a residential street; a sickening act which killed a young man and put innocent people at risk.
“Anyone linked to illegal firearms should expect to receive a significant custodial sentence. Remal’s family are devastated and no sentence can ever compensate their loss; my thoughts are with them."