How the gun that killed Agnes had been traded by gangs
- 12 April 2011
- From the section UK
Two men have been been jailed for life for shooting dead a 16-year-old as she waited for pizza in an east London takeaway. What the jury did not know was the gun that killed her had been used in six other shootings.
On a Wednesday evening in April last year, Agnes Sina-Inakoju met two friends at a chicken and pizza shop in Hoxton, east London.
Agnes, who was described by her family as "charismatic, ambitious, loving and caring", had been doing well at school and had visited Oxford University the week before with a view to applying to go there after taking her A-levels.
As she waited for her pizza she joked with her friends, Ronan and Tanya.
Two young men in dark hooded clothing approached on bicycles. Miss Sina-Inakoju looked up just as one of them fired a gun. She was struck in the throat by a bullet and died two days later in hospital.
The gun was a 9mm Agram sub-machine gun, made in Croatia and capable of firing 800 rounds a minute.
The man who pulled the trigger was 22-year-old Leon Dunkley, and his accomplice was Mohammed Smoured, 21.
They were members of a gang from the London Fields area of Hackney.
The pair were each sentenced to 32-year minimum terms after being found guilty of murder.
Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, said the sentence was to act as a deterrent.
And, addressing the killers, he said: "Not only have you taken a life, you have destroyed a family's happiness and destroyed your own lives too."
During their trial it emerged another London Fields gang member had been beaten up in Hoxton a few days before the murder.
Det Ch Insp John Crossley, who led the investigation, said the attack on the fast-food shop was a random act of revenge.
But he said: "They just fired indiscriminately at point blank range. Agnes was definitely not targeted. She was the innocent, 16-year-old victim of gun crime."
A week later the gun was found in a rucksack that had been dumped in a garden about a mile away, in Blanchard Way, by a 17-year-old being chased by police officers. He had been looking after it for Dunkley.
The London Fields gang also had a Mac-10 sub-machine gun - nicknamed the "spray and pray" because its recoil makes it difficult to aim accurately - a shotgun, a converted revolver and an Umarex Walther self-loading pistol.
But it is the Agram that killed Miss Sina-Inakoju that best illustrates how guns are traded and borrowed by criminals across the capital.
On 30 September 2009 that same gun was in the hands of Yusuf Arslan, a member of the Tottenham Boys, a gang of mainly Turkish and Kurdish youths.
Arslan's gang was engaged in a war with the rival Hackney Turks, which cost three lives.
On the night he fired the gun, two men in a van were lucky to escape without serious injury.
The same weapon, identified by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (Nabis), was also used in shootings as far apart as Croydon and Enfield.
It is not known who pulled the trigger - in one shooting the suspect was described as a black male, another was outside a snooker hall favoured by members of the Turkish community.
Dunkley and Smoured's trial heard evidence of guns used by the London Fields gang being returned to a Turkish man in a Hackney pub.
In court, Smoured, who is of Algerian origin, admitted being a drug dealer and member of the London Fields gang but denied any knowledge of guns or Agnes' murder.
Police said the gang's Mac-10 had also been used in September 2007 in two incidents in Wembley and Kilburn, on the other side of London, suggesting it had been bought or borrowed from a west London gang.
Det Ch Insp Crossley said 529 weapons - mainly handguns - were recovered in London in 2010 and he said many of them had been used in multiple shootings.
He said: "It is quite common for guns to get passed around between gangs and sometimes get stolen by other gangs.
"Nowadays Nabis would be able to tell pretty quickly if it was the same gun."
"If a gun is used in a particularly high-profile incident they will usually try to get rid of it," he said.
At Dunkley's Old Bailey trial the prosecutor, Simon Denison QC, said Miss Sina-Inakoju's future "was taken away from her in an instant".
The jury saw CCTV footage from inside the shop.
Miss Sina-Inakoju is seen falling to the ground and remaining motionless for a few seconds before rolling over clutching her throat as her friends jump across the counter and dive for cover.
Mr Denison told the jury: "The footage is shocking. It's footage of a 16-year-old girl being shot and killed.
"It's graphic and it's hideously violent but we have to show it and we have to study it because it does give us a picture of what happened.
"The scene inside the shop was one of shock, horror and chaos."
Understandably, her relatives refused to allow the footage to be released to the media.