A teenager locked up for his involvement in ‘turf war’ shootings in Huddersfield has had his ‘too soft’ sentence increased by top judges.
Javarni Cato, 17, was linked to a series of gun crime incidents in Dalton and Deighton in which a man was shot.
Cato, of Birmingham, got five years and four months in a young offender institution at Leeds Crown Court on February 28.
He admitted possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life at the same court on January 15.
Cato also admitted having crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply at Gloucester Crown Court on February 19.
The Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, thought his sentence should have been much tougher and referred the case to London’s Appeal Court.
A panel of three senior judges, led by Lord Justice McCombe, agreed with him – and increased Cato’s sentence to nine years.
When police raided a property in Gloucester on June 21 last year, Cato jumped out of a window to try and escape.
But he was detained and arrested with two others and wraps of cocaine and heroin were found.
Mobile phone evidence showed that bulk text messages were sent on a daily basis offering the Class A drugs for sale.
Cato ‘had control of the operation’ and employed two others, said the judge.
In July 2017, two pistols linked to him were used in three shooting incidents in the Huddersfield area.
The Crown Court judge said the shootings were part of a drugs ‘turf war'.
Despite his youth, Cato had nine previous convictions, for 17 crimes, including common assault and robbery.
A probation officer’s report described him as ‘very immature’ and said he had shown ‘some remorse.’
But Bill Emlyn Jones, for the Attorney General, argued that Cato had got off far too lightly.
There was more than one firearm involved and the weapons were discharged on a total of three separate occasions, he said.
Carl Kingsley, for Cato, argued that although his sentence was lenient, it was not ‘unduly so.’
He pointed to Cato’s ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.
But Lord Justice McCombe said there were ‘three separate shooting incidents’ and ‘also serious drug dealing offences.’
Upping Cato’s punishment, the judge concluded: “This total sentence was undoubtedly unduly lenient.”
Leeds Crown Court previously heard that on July 22 last year shots were fired from a car on Dalton Fold Road at two girls who ran into a nearby garden.
Another shooting took place five days later after taxi driver Asif Khan picked up four males from a house in Dalton and drove them to Holays.
When the passengers got out of the taxi, a vehicle passed by and shots were fired towards the taxi.
Mr Khan was seriously injured as the pellets were lodged in his back.