April 18 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Three gang members accused of gunning down an innocent man on Harrow Road were attempting to avenge a gangland murder from three years earlier, a court heard.
Electrician Daniel Smith, 22, of Queen’s Park, was on his way home from a date on May 21, 2010, when he stopped off at KFC just after midnight and was shot as he returned to his car.
His killers, allegedly members of the South Kilburn gang, had gone to the restaurant to shoot a man linked with the murder of a fellow gang member in 2007, the Old Bailey heard.
But their target had left KFC moments before and Mr Smith, who was not known to police and had no links to any gangs, was shot in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
The jury heard Kervin Kavuala, 27, was hoping to get revenge for the death of his brother Tyno who was shot dead by a rival gang in 2007.
Kavuala is said to have rushed to the KFC on Harrow Road after a tip off from his fellow defendants Zeleke Forde, 30, and Shane Lewis, 32, that one of the men responsible for Tyno’s murder was there.
Prosecution counsel Richard Whittam QC said: “What had been and should have remained a pleasant evening for Daniel Smith and those who knew him ended in tragedy.”
Mr Whittam told the court that Mr Smith bore a “striking resemblance” to the target - Mozart gang member Stacey Theophane - and was wearing a similar light-coloured top.
“His life was taken all too easily,” he said. “He was shot barely a quarter of an hour after a phone call was made from the area of the KFC and the man for whom he was mistaken had entered the shop.
“In that short time, a loaded firearm was obtained and taken to outside the KFC where it was used to kill him.”
A music video filmed just hours before the murder showed Kavuala pointing to a tattoo of his dead brother on his arm while another South Kilburn gang member raps: “This all started when my brother died…and it won’t end till I see another homicide.”
Prosecutors are unable to say who fired the gun that killed Mr Smith but Kavuala’s fingerprint was found on the victim’s car.
Call records show contact was made between Lewis, who was in the vicinity of the KFC, Forde and Kavuala – who was then shown on CCTV to point in the direction of Harrow Road.
The court heard a fourth defendant, Jonathan Yeboah, 25, was then phoned by Kavuala before he allegedly attempted to find a gun.
“The analysis of the movement of a vehicle towards KFC, and the use of mobile phones after the shooting supports the assertion that Kervin Kavuala did go in a vehicle to the vicinity of the KFC,” said Mr Whittam.
Kavuala, of Kilburn, Forde, of Watford and Lewis, of Harlesden, all deny murder.
Yeboah, of no fixed address, denies charges of encouraging or assisting in murder, and encouraging or assisting in the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The trial continues.