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Man who shot suspected gangster tells inquest pair were good friends

A man who shot a suspected gangster in the head has told an inquest they were such good friends it had seemed "impossible" for something like that to happen.

Security worker Stephen "Aki" Akinyemi, 44, died after being shot in the temple during a fight with Arran Coghlan at the businessman's £500,000 home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, on February 9 2010.

They had known each other since the 1990s, and Mr Coghlan told an inquest into Mr Akinyemi's death, sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice: "I would genuinely believe it was impossible for him and me to fall out about anything in that relationship. I would invite him into my home."

Mr Coghlan, 45, described Mr Akinyemi as "quirky", "funny" and as someone who seemed like he had "good morals and was a stand-on type of person".

Mr Coghlan told a previous inquest in October 2011 that Mr Akinyemi had pulled a gun on him and it went off in a struggle during which he was 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, but t he Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charge because it could not prove Mr Coghlan was not acting in self-defence.

Mr Coghlan was among three people who were stabbed at Stockport's Cobdens nightclub in the early hours of New Year's Day 2008.

Mr Coghlan, who was stabbed in the back, said he was later told by Mr Akinyemi: "That was not supposed to happen."

Mr Akinyemi said a "young kid" had "got it wrong" when he rushed into the club, according to Mr Coghlan.

He told the inquest: "I think he (Akinyemi) was justifying about not doing anything about it himself.

"His friend had stabbed me in the back. His whole narrative was that it should not have happened. He was only a young kid."

No more information was given about what might have triggered the knife attack.

Mr Coghlan also recalled ongoing tensions between Mr Akinyemi and another man called Phil Atkinson who shared the same nickname.

Mr Coghlan, who described Mr Atkinson as "annoying", said: "The only words I ever heard between them were tense."

Both men had Porsches with personalised licence plates, one which read "AKI" and the other which said "AKY", and Mr Atkinson had claimed he had bought his from footballer Ronaldo, according to Mr Coghlan.

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