London

Ministry of Sound nightclub killer jailed for life

A man who ran over a clubber following a row at the Ministry of Sound nightclub in south London has been jailed for life for murder.

Gary Johnson, 25, of Sydenham, was partially decapitated when Ranjit Nankani's car hit him in Elephant and Castle in August 2009.

Nankani, 30, of Croydon, who was found guilty of murder, was then shot by the victim's friend Dwayne McPherson.

At the Old Bailey, Nankani was ordered to serve a minimum term of 18 years.

As he was led away from the court room following the sentencing Nankani shouted: "They were gang members and that gun is still out there.

"I'm sorry for the death of Mr Johnson."

McPherson, 28, also of Sydenham, who was convicted of the attempted murder of Nankani, is due to be sentenced on 10 September.

The jury heard that Nankani and his friends were thrown out of the club after a row with Mr Johnson and his friends.

Image caption Ranjit Nankani was thrown out of the club after a row involving Mr Johnson and his friends

The row allegedly began after Nankani stepped on the victim's toe.

Judge Stephen Kramer told Nankani: "What you did must have involved a degree of premeditation.

"It was a targeted revenge attack on a crowded public street when people were leaving the club to go home.

"You waited and you used your vehicle as a lethal weapon in the streets."

Following the sentencing, Mr Johnson's mother Joyce said: "Eighteen years is not enough. I will never see Gary, Skye (the victim's daughter) will never know her dad.

"So 18 years, what is that, can somebody tell me what is that to life? He will still breathe, he is still breathing, he is very blessed."

After leaving the nightclub, Nankani waited for the father-of-one in his 4x4 vehicle on the pavement opposite the club in Gaunt Street before running him over.

The force of the impact threw the victim into the air and he was then carried along on the bonnet and killed instantly when he was partially decapitated as the car struck a wall.

'Raging mad'

As the vehicle crashed into parked cars, Nankani was trapped inside and McPherson ran towards the vehicle and fired four shots "in revenge" before running off from the scene. One bullet hit the killer.

Image caption Gary Johnson was thrown into the air and partially decapitated

The jury heard Nankani was at twice the drink-driving limit and had consumed champagne and brandy that night.

The court was told that following the row in the club, someone may have had a gun on them and threatened Nankani with it.

The judge told Nankani: "One witness described you as being raging mad, doubtless at what you felt to be the unfair way you and your friends had been treated.

"What you did was not, as you contended, an accident. The jury have found that your driving was a deliberate, targeted revenge on Gary Johnson."

Det Ch Insp Mark Dunne said: "There were large amounts of people outside the club at the time that witnessed the horrific death of Gary Johnson and they must have been terrified to hear and see the gun shots.

"Due to a petty argument, these men made choices that have changed their lives forever and a man has tragically lost his life."

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