Lee Amos: The rise and fall of Gooch gangster whose face was plastered around Manchester when he faced justice

A notorious gangster who once led the feared Gooch Gang in Manchester has died in prison. It was back in 2009 that Lee 'Cabbo' Amos was jailed for the drive-by killing of Tyrone Gilbert, 24.

An investigation into his death is now underway. Amos was serving a minimum of 35 years over Gilbert's killing and was part of the notorious Gooch Gang, which terrorised Manchester.

After he and Gooch Gang head honcho Colin 'Piggy' Joyce finally faced justice in 2009, the faces of the deadly gang members were plastered all over Manchester. A giant billboard at the side of Princess Parkway appeared along with the words 'Ageing behind bars'.

READ MORE Notorious Manchester gangster Lee Amos who ran 'Gooch Gang' dies in prison

Their faces had been digitally altered to depict them as frail, grey-haired pensioners, showing how they might look when finally eligible for parole.

But for years before, the ruthless pair had dominated one of the city's deadliest gangs; two of the men who turned Manchester into 'Gunchester'.

Known as 'Piggy', Joyce grew up on turf run by the Doddington-affiliated Longsight Crew. But after a senior gangster ordered him to pick a side, he joined their rivals in the Young Gooch Close gang alongside his childhood pal Lee 'Cabbo' Amos. The pair's names kept cropping up in murder investigations involving gun crime, as they stole drugs and money from other villains.

Things unravelled in 2001, when armed police, acting on an anonymous tip that a hostage was being held, raided a house on Ruskin Close, Moss Side.

They didn't find any hostages, but they did found six members of the Gooch gang, including Joyce and Amos, and a stash of weapons including a Skorpion machine gun. Joyce was jailed for nine years and Amos was also locked up.

While they were serving time behind bars, Cabbo's brother, former Manchester City starlet Stephen Babatunde Amos, was murdered in Ashton-under-Lyne by Longsight Crew members. Dead set on revenge Joyce and Amos bided their time in jail.

When they were finally released on parole there was a dramatic escalation in gun crime, which culminated in two deadly drive by shootings.

Young dad Ucal Chin, 23, was shot dead by Joyce in a daylight ambush at Anson Road, Longsight, in June 2007. Joyce pulled up in an Audi and peppered Ucal's car with 9mm bullets from a converted Russian Baikal self-loading pistol. Ucal was killed because Amos and Joyce believed he was a member of the Longsight Crew.

Weeks later, Joyce and Amos along with three other senior gang members - Aeeron Campbell, then 25, of Withington, Ricardo Williams, then 26, of Moston, and Narada Williams, then 28, of Fallowfield - targeted his wake in a drive-by shooting which claimed the life of Tyrone Gilbert, 24, and injured another man. Tyrone died after a bullet from a revolver hit him in the chest.

In April 2009, following a six month trial at Liverpool Crown Court, in which six former Gooch gang member testified against them, Joyce and Amos were convicted of murder, attempted murder and possessing firearms. Joyce, then 29, was jailed for life and told he would serve a minimum of 39 years, while Amos was banged up for 35 years.

G4S has since confirmed that Amos passed away at HMP Oakwood and an investigation is underway.

A HMP Oakwood spokesperson said: "A prisoner at HMP Oakwood, Mr Lee Amos, aged 48, passed away on Monday, 22 April 2024.

"His next of kin have been informed and a Family Liaison Officer has been appointed. As with all deaths in prison, this will be investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."