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Four men stopped after armed car pursuit convicted

News   •   Jan 30, 2019 17:21 GMT

[Ifill, Joseph-Newill, Lewis and Lekan]

Four men who threatened police officers with a firearm during a vehicle pursuit in east London have been convicted, today, Wednesday, 30 January, at the Old Bailey.

Lekan Akinsoji, 21 (15.01.98), of no fixed address was found guilty of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

Nathaniel Lewis, 23 (06.01.96), of Earlham Grove, E7 was found guilty of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21 (26.03.97), of Willis Road, E15 was found guilty of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

Troy Ifill, 22 (13.12.96) of Torrens Square, E15 was found guilty of possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

All four men will be sentenced on Friday, February 8.

On 26 July 2018 at approximately 22:45hrs, police were called to Lascelles Close, E11, to reports of men in the area brandishing a firearm.

Armed officers made their way to the area and spotted a BMW Series 1 matching the description of the car on Cathall Road, Leytonstone. After following the vehicle for a short time, the car made off. Officers illuminated their blue lights and sounded their sirens indicating for the car to stop, but it did not.

A pursuit began on Cobden Road, E11, ending in Bective Road, E7. The occupants of the vehicle brandished a firearm at officers in the marked police vehicle.

During the pursuit the officers used a specialist pursuit tactic, making contact with the BMW, causing damage to both vehicles.

The BMW did not stop and it continued at high speed along Odessa Road. During this part of the pursuit the officers in the ARV believed they saw the gun pointed at them again.

The pursuit ended when the BMW was blocked by an oncoming vehicle in Bective Road. The driver of the BMW fled the scene whilst the other occupants of the car were detained by police. All the men were wearing face coverings, gloves and one man wore a clown mask. Two of the men were carrying lock knives.

Officers discovered a shortened shotgun, a large Zombie-style knife and a Zombie-style axe in the car. A hunting knife was found under the car. A can of petrol together with the original registration plate belonging to the car were also found in the back of the vehicle.

It was later established that the car had been stolen during a burglary. The firearm was examined by a forensic firearms expert and identified as a single-barrelled shotgun, loaded with a 12-bore cartridge.

All four men were found to be 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.”