Partygoer claims he shot dead two men in self defence

Court hears he was handed a gun by his friend

A partygoer who shot two men dead outside a nightclub admitted he was ‘stupid’ but claimed he was acting in self defence.

Michael Smith, 27, told the Old Bailey today (Tuesday) that he opened fire because he feared Eugene Brown, 27, was going to shoot him outside the Sugar Lounge club in Forest Gate, east London.

One bullet fatally wounded Mr Brown and the other killed 26-year-old Patrick Ford, one of Smith’s childhood friends, jurors heard.

Smith was shot four times in retaliation but managed to escape the scene in a white BMW, it is claimed.

Kevin Powell, of Harlesden Road, Willesden, is accused of shooting Smith.

Giving evidence, Smith told how he had seen Mr Brown on the club dancefloor in the early hours of May 29 last year.

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He claimed that Mr Brown threatened to ‘lick’ him and then fired a handgun several times.

Smith said: “At the time I thought he might have shot at me.”

He said he went to ask his friends what had happened and was handed a gun.

He said: “Somebody had just told me they are willing to shoot me and let off shots and I took it to preserve my life if necessary.”

Smith said he watched Mr Brown leave the club and decided to go with everybody else as the club emptied.

He told the court he opened fire after seeing a gun in Mr Brown’s left hand, saying: “In hindsight I did something stupid.”

One of the men in the car was Nana Oppong, 30, who is accused of pointing out the targets for Smith before the shooting.

Smith denies two counts of murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Four other people, including Oppong, deny any involvement in the shooting.

The trial continues.