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Man tells inquest about shooting of suspected gangster

A businessman has told an inquest how he managed to shoot a suspected gangster who was armed with a gun and knife.

Arran Coghlan said he wrestled with Stephen "Aki" Akinyemi in the bathroom of his home in Alderley Edge while being stabbed and having a gun pointed at him.

The 44-year-old security worker was shot in the temple during the fight with Mr Coghlan on February 9 2010.

Mr Coghlan, 45, told the inquest sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice: "As I drew level with the door I was presented with someone, who was my friend until that moment, pointing a gun at me.

"I froze. He then punched me in the eye, breaking my glasses and sending them off."

The men were at the converted chapel for an pre-arranged summit to try and end a feud between Mr Akinyemi and another man called Phil Atkinson, according to Mr Coghlan.

He recalled Mr Akinyemi ordering him to ring Mr Atkinson.

Mr Coghlan, who is 6ft 4in, responded by hitting the muscular Mr Akinyemi, who was 5ft 10in and had been on the verge of becoming a professional boxer, and the pair began to tussle in the darkness of the small bathroom.

Mr Coghlan told the inquest: "I am not sure if it was my fists or my forearm but I know he went straight down.

"He was up in a flash, which was surprising in itself."

Mr Coghlan said he grabbed Mr Akinyemi by the head and neck until they both fell on the floor.

He described Mr Akinyemi as looking like a "bucking bronco" during the fight.

He said Mr Akinyemi hit him with a flurry of punches including a blow to the jaw.

"I did not know that at the time but it turns out he was stabbing me," Mr Coghlan said.

He added: "In that melee the gun has gone off. All I know is that he stopped stabbing me and fell away.

"I ended up with the gun in my hand aiming it at him while he was on the floor.

"I think I might have said 'don't move' or something like that."

Mr Coghlan, who said he could not see where Mr Akinyemi had been shot, added: "I tried to exercise restraint by not emptying the gun in his direction which, given the circumstances, was not easy.

"I do not know how long I stood there for. "

He then called the police.

Mr Coghlan told an inquest in October 2011 that Mr Akinyemi pulled a gun on him and it went off during a struggle which saw him get stabbed several times.

Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded an open verdict, saying he had "difficulty" accepting Mr Coghlan's version of events.

Mr Coghlan was initially accused of murdering Mr Akinyemi.

The Crown Prosecution Service later dropped the charge because it could not prove Mr Coghlan, who suffered stab wounds, was not acting in self-defence.

Mr Akinyemi was arrested in connection with the murder of a man called Chinaedu Iheagwara, 34, in February 2002 and there had been an allegation that he had raped a woman in January 2010, the inquest has heard.

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