Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Shot man caught the bus to hospital

Richard Kwakye was allegedly shot by Rilwan Bankole in 2003, the Old Bailey was told

A man shot in the head flagged down a bus which took him to hospital, the Old Bailey has heard.

The driver, whose route took him past King's College Hospital, south London, stopped to let him off outside the Accident and Emergency department. Richard Kwakye survived but the incident had made him "mortal enemies" with Rilwan Bankole, the man accused of shooting him, the court was told.

"He was bleeding from a wound to his head and was evidently in considerable pain," said Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting. "To the shock and amazement of the triage nurses, this man explained that he had just been shot in the head and had caught a bus to the hospital. He was rushed into theatre where the surgeons who operated upon him duly removed a bullet from his brain."

Bankole, 31, of Thornton Heath, south London, denies attempting to murder Kwakye in October 2003.

Mr Glasgow said Kwakye, who was 20 at the time, had refused to tell police who shot him until six years later. Kwakye said he had been driven to Goose Green park where he alleged Bankole pointed the gun at his head and shot him while they sat in a car as fireworks were set off.

Mr Glasgow added: "When he came to, no one was there. Whilst he knew that he was hurt he had no idea how seriously he had been wounded. He managed to get to his feet and staggered into the road where he flagged down a passing bus. The driver, who fortuitously was en route to King's College Hospital, dropped Richard Kwakye at A&E."

Doctors removed the .22 air pellet fired from a modified blank firing gun. Kwakye would not have survived if the bullet had been larger, the court heard.

Bankole, who was said to have suspected his former friend of stealing his property, later told police Kwakye had lied about who shot him because the two were involved in a custody battle over a child.

But the "seven years of hatred" had led to more serious matters, Mr Glasgow said. Kwakye was convicted last week of the murder of Bankole's 19-month-old daughter Siariah Letang in an arson attack at the home of her mother in September last year.

Mr Glasgow told the jurors they would find it hard to warm to Kwakye, now a convicted murderer who, like Bankole, had previous convictions for robbery and drugs.

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