Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Gunman jailed for gang feud murder

Dean Smith has been jailed for a minimum of 31 years for the murder of Aarron McKoy

A gunman has been jailed for a minimum 31 years for killing a teacher's son celebrating his birthday in a wine bar.

Aarron McKoy was with his twin brother Lee and it was their 22nd birthday in the early hours of New Year's Day when he was shot three times.

Dean Smith, 26, of Stoke Newington, north London, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey last week. He was jailed for life and told he would serve a minimum of 31 years.

Judge Wendy Joseph told him: "It was a true execution of a young man who was utterly defenceless and at your mercy. Aaron had done nothing to you or indeed anyone else."

The judge said it had been said during the trial that Smith had a loaded gun and was "going to shoot someone".

Cyreena McKoy said the murder had devastated her family. Her brother Lee was "like a lost soul" without his twin. She said in a statement: "Dean Smith had no reason to commit this senseless act."

The court heard that Mr McKoy became the innocent victim of a long-running feud between two gangs. He had had friends who were associated with the Holly Street Boys, while Smith was a long-standing member of the rival Lordship Lane Boys.

He arrived with a group at the Clerkenwell House wine bar in central London as Mr McKoy and his friends were peacefully celebrating.

Aftab Jafferjee, prosecuting, said trouble broke out and the club was cleared. But outside Mr McKoy and a friend were attacked. He ran off and was chased. After tripping up, he found Smith standing over him with a gun. He shot Mr McKoy and was turning away when Mr McKoy tried to move. He shot him twice more and left him with "devastating injuries".

Osman Mohammed, 23, Perrie Dennis, 23, Jack Nichols, 21, Ceon Hewitt, 22, and Daniel Oyetoro, 27, were all found not guilty of murder.

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