Four convictions for threatening officers with firearm
Four “extremely dangerous” men have been convicted after “brandishing a firearm” at Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers during a vehicle pursuit.
Lekan Akinsoji, 21, Nathaniel Lewis, 23, Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21, and Troy Ifill, 22, were found guilty of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH).
The incident occurred at around 10.45pm on July 26 last year when armed officers responded to reports of men brandishing a firearm in Leytonstone, East London.
The officers spotted a BMW Series 1 matching the description of the car and followed it for a short time before the car “made off”. The armed response vehicle switched on its blue lights and siren but the BMW failed to stop.
A chase ensued and the occupants of the BMW brandished the firearm at the officers, who responded with specialist pursuit tactics, making contact with the BMW resulting in damage to both vehicles.
But the BMW still failed to stop, and the pursuit continued at high speed and the officers “believed they saw the gun pointed at them again”.
The BMW was finally brought to a stop when it was blocked by an oncoming vehicle – the driver fled and the car’s other occupants were detained by officers. The men were all wearing face coverings, including a clown mask, and gloves. Two of the men also had lock knives in their possession.
Officers discovered a large Zombie-style knife and a Zombie-style axe in the BMW, as well as a hunting knife. In the back of the vehicle, a can of petrol and the car’s original registration plate were also discovered. The car was later found to have been stolen during a burglary.
The firearm was identified as a single-barrelled shotgun, loaded with a 12-bore cartridge.
As reported in PP639, the number of licensed shotguns finding their way into criminal hands has risen to the point that, for the first time, their use is outstripping that of other firearms. This has been swelled by thefts from farms, country houses, gun clubs and even legitimate dealerships.
All four men were gang members and had produced a number of ‘drill’ music videos, including videos bragging about gang activity and serious criminality.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Topping, from Trident, said: “The four defendants who have been convicted today are extremely dangerous individuals.
“Given the weapons they had with them, including a firearm and zombie knives, I have no doubt that their intention was to seriously injure or kill someone.
“The men brandished the firearm at officers, and it is extremely fortunate that one of our armed response vehicles was able to respond and arrest these men, before they had the opportunity to commit serious violence.
“This conviction demonstrates that the Metropolitan Police will work tirelessly to bring violent offenders to justice.”
The men were convicted at the Old Bailey yesterday (Wednesday, January 30) and are due to be sentenced on February 8.