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Footballer shot dead after ultimatum

PUBLISHED: 13:03 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 24 August 2010

AN ASPIRING footballer was gunned down on his doorstep because he decided that blood was thicker than water, a court heard. Leon Labastide, 21, of Mordaunt Road, Stonebridge, was shot dead in May 2004 after being given an ultimatum to choose his friends o

AN ASPIRING footballer was gunned down on his doorstep because he decided that blood was thicker than water, a court heard.

Leon Labastide, 21, of Mordaunt Road, Stonebridge, was shot dead in May 2004 after being given an ultimatum to choose his friends or his family it has been claimed.

At the Old Bailey yesterday, a supergrass, who can not be named for legal reasons, told the court that Mr Labastide was torn between his cousin and 31-year-old Damien Bora’ Williams who had fallen out.

The supergrass said before the rift Mr Labastide and several other men, including himself, had often visited Mr Williams’s former home on Milton Avenue, Stonebridge, to hang out.

He said: “We would play computer and smoke weed.

“But from the beginning his (Mr Labastide’s) cousin was in a gang.

“His associates did not get on with Bora.”

The supergrass claimed ill-feeling between Mr Labastide’s cousin and Mr Williams came to a head after an unnamed man, who was a friend of Mr Labastide’s cousin, was shot dead.

He said Mr William’s mother was accused of hiding the weapon in her home.

He added: “The cousin would keep saying I have a new gun, to wind Bora up.”

Jurors heard Mr Labastide was told he had to choose between being friends with his cousin or Mr Williams and his associates and he was shot dead for choosing his relative.

Eight months later in January 2005, father-of-three Jahmall Moore, 24, was shot dead in griffin Close, Willesden.

The Old Bailey heard the two murders were part of a tit-for-tat war between rivals based in and around the Stonebridge Estate.

Ex-Millwall footballer Gavin Grant, of Shrewsbury Avenue, Harrow, and Gareth Downie, 24, from Birmingham, deny the murder of Mr Labastide.

Grant further denies two charges of perjury in that he told a court he had no idea who shot Mr Labastide and claimed he only had one phone.

Damien Williams, 31, from south London, denies conspiracy to murder Mr Labastide.

Parchment, 25, of St John's Avenue, Harlesden, and Whyte, 26, of Woodgrange Avenue, Kenton, deny the murder of Jahmall Moore and conspiracy to murder Sean Cephanis.

The trial continues

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