Sugar Lounge murders: Video shows moment Harlesden man shot rival
Men jailed for their part in ‘Wild West shoot out’
A Harlesden man who repeatedly shot a rival gangster who had shot and killed two of his friends has been jailed for 34 years.
Kevin Powell, 37, of Larix Court, Harlesden, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Tuesday of the attempted murder of Michael Smith.
Smith, 28, of Newham, was found guilty in August 2011 of the double murder of Patrick Ford and Eugene Brown outside the Sugar Lounge nightclub in Forest Gate in May 2010. He was sentenced to life for both murders,
A third man, Nana Oppong, 32, of Stratford, was sentenced alongside Smith and Powell, to two years for perverting the course of justice.
The court heard how on the night in question, Powell was in the nightclub with friends Eugene Brown, 27, of Forest Gate, and Patrick Ford, 36, of Tottenham.
Smith was also in the club with friends – including Oppong, who was celebrating his 30th birthday.
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Jurors were told that Mr Brown had pulled out a gun and fired several times into the ceiling of the nightclub – causing the celebrations to end.
The court heard how Oppong was seen discussing something with Smith shortly after the shots were fired.
When outside the club, Smith walked up to Mr Brown and shot him in the head before letting off two more rounds – one of which struck Mr Ford in the chest and killed him instantly. Mr Brown died six weeks later in hospital.
Jurors were told that Smith was seen walking off with Oppong, before Powell gave chase and fired between nine and 14 shots at Smith.
William Boyce, QC, prosecuting, said: “Mr Powell went after Mr Smith and caught up with him in a side road and shot him several times at virtually point-blank range.
“Mr Smith must be one of the most fortunate men alive, he has no right to be alive.”
Smith, whose white suit was covered in blood, had got up and ran away, but was caught again and blasted at point-blank range for a second time.
Mr Boyce said Smith still managed to get up and run despite shots to the back, leg, chest and face, and dived into an open window of a car before being dumped in the doorway of a hospital by Oppong and a friend.
Dramatic CCTV footage shows Powell giving chase and firing at Smith.
“It was fortunate that it was 6am and not a busy time of the day,” said Mr Boyce.
“Mr Powell had taken the law into his own hands and had gone out to exact his own revenge. He peppered Mr Smith with bullets but still did not manage to kill him.”
Doctors battled to save Smith and following extensive surgery he survived and was subsequently charged with his part in the shootings.
Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, told them: “To have a case of three guns and two bodies after an extraordinary escape from the jaws of death, is an affront to civilised and peace-loving society.
“This was a brutal and callous use of powerful weapons in London streets with a complete indifference to the results.
“These were acts of revenge done in the streets with complete disregard for the public.”
Detective Sergeant Paul Considine said: “The picture that emerged was a shocking one.
“It is an image of young men attending venues with loaded firearms having little or no regard for the lives of those around them.
“Here lethal weapons are being used as accessories to a night out. Sadly the combination of dangerous armed individuals that had consumed alcohol and drugs led to a frightening incident that resulted in two men losing their lives and another being seriously injured.”
Smith was given two life sentences with a minimum term of 34 years.
Powell was found guilty of attempting to murder Smith, following a retrial, and jailed for 34 years.
Oppong was previously cleared of murder and a firearms charge after two juries failed to reach verdicts.
He was jailed for two years after being found guilty of perverting justice
Dajsha Stancillas, 31, of Forest Gate, removed bullet casings from the floor of the Sugar Lounge. She was jailed for a year.
Camilla Ghimpu, 26, also of Forest Gate, got rid of the bullet cases after being handed them by Stancillas, her boss. She received six months.
Mr Brown’s friend Nerissa Harris, 29, of Chingford, was found guilty of perverting justice for taking a gun from Mr Brown after he was shot.
She placed it in a car and it was then spirited away by a man who has never been identified. She was jailed for 18 months.