THREE men have been jailed for the ‘gangland-style execution’ of a cannabis farmer - said to have been planned out in Bolton.

Father-of-two Hemwand Ali Hussain was lured to his death following a dispute over £10,000 worth of drugs.

Prosecutors say the gang responsible for the shooting in Hartlepool had assembled in Bolton the day before the killing.

Hussain, 30, was forced to his knees and blasted at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun. The gunman has never been caught.

The plot to kill the Stockton man was the culmination of a long-running feud between rival Kurdish and Albanian groups on Teesside, which included a gunfight between the two warring parties in Middlesbrough.

One of the men convicted of his killing is a Bolton man, Dorian Pirija. He was said to be the getaway driver for the planned shooting.

Pirija, of Trillo Avenue, and Noza Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, and Qazim Marku, 25, of West Drayton, London, were cleared of Mr Hussain's murder after a trial at Teeside Crown Court but each found guilty of manslaughter. A fourth man, Anxhelo Xhaferi, was cleared of both offences and released.

Trial judge Mr Justice Mark Wall jailed Pirija and Marku for 19 years and Saffari for 15 years.

Jurors heard the organised crime group brought together members from Bolton, Teesside and London to carry out the ‘execution-style’ slaying. The gunman, identified as Daniel Kadiu, has not been caught.

Mr Justice Wall said the three men were either members of or working for an organised crime gang involved in the running of lucrative cannabis farms in the region.

As he sentenced them, he said they had all played a role in the meticulous planning for the murder of Mr Hussain.

The victim died instantly after he was shot inside a terraced house in Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, on September 14, 2019, the trial heard.

In a victim impact statement, his partner Jennifer Miss Buller told the judge of the devastating impact her partner’s murder had on her and her two young children.

She said: “The boys saw as their hero; a brave man who protected them. They knew about his involvement in fighting against ISIS and felt so proud of this, as did his family and the rest of the Kurdish community.

“Family and loyalty were very important to him and he had a close relationship with his parents and siblings in Kurdistan.

“Hearing that he had died was one of the worst moments of my life.”

The court heard how officers found gloves, cable ties, white nylon rope, screwdriver, and 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 killing plot.

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