Four men have been put behind bars for at least 78 years in total, after they killed a Rotherham man in a drive-by shooting earlier this year.

Lewis Williams, 20, from Swinton, was shot dead on Wath Road, Mexborough, on 11 January, after suffering from ‘catastrophic injuries’ in the attack.

Today, the four men were sentenced after a six-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Jack Parkes (left), Taylor Meanley (middle), Joe Anderton (middle), Arlind Nika (right)

Jack Parkes, 21, formerly of Arnold Crescent, Doncaster and Taylor Meanley, 17, formerly of Victoria Street were found guilty of murder.

Joe Anderton, 18, formerly of Jubilee Road, Doncaster and Arlind Nika, 16, formerly of Spellman Street, London, were found guilty of manslaughter on 15 October.

All four were convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Parkes and Meanley were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 27 years and Anderton and Nika were sentenced to a 12 years detention.

The court heard, Parkes, Meanley, Anderton and Nika met at a BP service station in Goldthorpe, before they got into a blue Jaguar together.

They drove away and reached Wath Road, Mexborough, just before 4pm, where they spotted Williams. The four men turned around and fired a shot which hit him in the neck.

Emergency services arrived at the scene and despite their best efforts, Williams was pronounced dead shortly after.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died as a result of gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.

Detective Chief Inspector, James Axe, who led the inquiry, said: “I would like to offer my condolences to Lewis’ family and thank them for their continued support throughout these proceedings. I hope the sentences handed down by the judge today will help to provide them with some comfort.”

​Throughout the trial, the defendants claimed they had no intention to kill Williams. 

Meanley attempted to convince the jury he believed the firearm would only discharge an empty cartridge and would just make a loud bang.

Detective Chief Inspector James Axe, added: “The jury saw through those lies and I am pleased that all four now face a lengthy time behind bars.

“The absolute reckless nature of events that played out on the 11 January 2021 not only endangered the life of Lewis, but also his associates and the broader public, going about their lawful business.”

Lewis Williams was shot dead after he suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ in the attack and died at the scene.

The victim’s mum, Sandra Williams, released the following statement, after the hearing and said: “The loss of Lewis has left our family devastated and we know that life will never be the same. We are totally broken without him, and we still feel numb.

“To lose a child is something no parent should have to go through – I feel lost and as if a part of me is missing. I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to fix this.

“As a family we are satisfied with the sentences handed down by the court today and feel that justice has been served for Lewis.

“We would also like to thank South Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit for their professionalism and securing the guilty verdicts for Lewis.”