A MAN from Bolton has been convicted of involvement in the killing of a cannabis farmer who was shot dead in a point-blank, gangland-style execution.

Dorian Pirija was one of three men found guilty of the manslaughter of Hemwand Ali Hussain, along with Noza Saffari and Qazim Marku, but the trio were cleared of murder following a trial at Teeside Crown Court.

A fourth man, Anxelo Xhaferi, was cleared of both charges and was immediately released from custody.

The court heard how a row over 10kg of missing drugs ended with a father-of-two being shot to the back of the head inside a house in Hartlepool in September 2019.

The 30-year-old was lured to the terraced house in Hartlepool to check out a prospective cannabis farm site but instead he was blasted at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun.

The suspected gunman remains at large, with other members of the gang believed to have been involved in the conspiracy.

Officers found gloves, cable ties, white nylon rope, screwdriver, and Stanley blades in a cupboard in the kitchen at the house.

CCTV footage and forensic analysis was used by detectives to identify the men involved in the conspiracy to murder Mr Hussain.

The court heard how 33-year-old Pirija travelled up from his home in Trillo Avenue, Bolton, with another man, who has never been traced by police, on the day of the killing and CCTV footage showed him driving away from the scene.

Several men have never been traced and are still on the run following the killing.

Jurors heard how Saffari had been doing some handyman work for Mr Ali Hussain for a few years before the slaying and played a pivotal role in luring him to his death.

During his evidence he gave details about tensions between Kurdish and Albanian groups on Teesside, including a gunfight in Middlesbrough.

The 39-year-old, from Middlesbrough, also claimed that he had been a 'police informer' who passed on information about drug dealers in the town.

Marku, from London, was caught on CCTV running from the direction of the murder house in the moments after the fatal shotgun blast was fired.

Judge Mr Justice Mark Wall remanded the three defendants in custody after the jury returned their verdicts after just over two days of deliberation.

Saffari, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, Pirija and Marku, 24, of West Drayton, will be sentenced tomorrow morning.