Unsolved Murders

Frank Birley

Age: 33

Sex: male

Date: 14 Apr 2000

Place: Sugar Well Road, Meanwood

Source: www.westyorkshire.police.uk

Frank Birley was shot on the night of Friday 14 April 2000.

It was thought that he was shot by an accomplice that he had been out with who had shot him as he slipped and fell. It was said that they had been out on a punishment raid and just before Frank Birley was shot, a 17-year-old youth was shot in the leg.

After the shooting, a man said that he saw Frank Birley's accomplice run past his drive. He said that he had been helping visitors into a taxi at the time and saw the accomplice run down the street at 100mph waving a gun. The man said that the accomplice seemed to be in control and had shouted 'Get out of my way' at him.

Frank Birley had just been released six-months earlier from prison after being sentenced to 14 years, of which he served 9 years, for armed robbery and hostage-taking and it was thought that he had been attempting to re-establish his position in Leeds and had been putting the squeeze on local drug dealers. It was said that he would never get involved in drugs himself but was not averse to taxing local druggies and taking their money, knowing that they would never complain to the police.

His earlier conviction was in relation to a failed £147,000 armed raid at a Blackpool jewellers in which he had held a 78-year old woman and the woman's 52-year old daughter at gunpoint for 9-hours whilst besieged by the police.

Frank Birley's murder was one of seven shootings around Leeds that month.

It was also heard that a price had been put on Frank Birley's head by his rivals who had flourished whilst he had been in prison.

He was also known as Frank Gatt.

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