VICTIM AND PERPERTRATOR: Aarron McKoy (left) and Dean Smith
FOLLOWING A 12-week trial at the Old Bailey, a man has been found guilty of shooting innocent victim Aarron McKoy on New Year’s Eve.
A jury today (December 10) found Dean Smith, 26, guilty of murdering McKoy, who was at the Clerkenwell House Wine Bar in central London to celebrate both his 22nd birthday and his twin brother's as well as the New Year.
McKoy was shot three times after being chased and caught. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gang affiliated Smith, from Stoke Newington, east London, will be sentenced on December 17.
Police say that McKoy, from Hackney, east London, and his brother were peacefully celebrating their birthday but tensions had risen in the club between Hackney gangs - London Fields and Lordship gangs - who were in the vicinity.
Violence escalated after a 24-year-old man was stabbed outside the venue but neither McKoy nor his brother were involved as they were simply trying to celebrate their birthday.
“We are pleased with today's conviction that has proved Dean Smith pulled the trigger that night and ended the life of an innocent man,” said Detective Chief Inspector Dave Rock, the investigating officer from Trident.
"Whilst we always believed Smith was the gunman, the court heard that Aarron was pursued by a group of six men and it was for this reason that all of the group members had been charged under joint enterprise. Indeed it was as a direct result of charging them that they gave evidence in court against Smith.
"This is one of our first murder trials since the Trident Gangs Command was formed and it demonstrates our expertise and commitment to dismantling gangs and cracking down on their unlawful activities.”
He continued: “We will pursue all people involved in this type of crime, no matter how major or minor their involvement may be.
"In addition to the relentlessness of Trident officers and the prosecution team, I would like to acknowledge the dignity, tolerance and calm that has been shown throughout these tragic circumstances and long trial by Aarron's mother and family "
Five other men - Jack Nichols, Ceon Hewitt, Osman Mohammed, Perrie Denis and Daniel Oyetoro - had been charged with murder under joint enterprise but were found not guilty by the jury.