London

Gang member jailed for 'execution' of Samuel Ogunro

Ola Apena
Image caption Ola Apena arranged the killing from a prison in Oxfordshire

A gang member has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey for arranging the "execution" of a 17-year-old boy.

Ola Apena, 22, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He must serve at least 32 years.

Samuel Ogunro was found with a shot in the back of the head in a burning car in Peckham, south London, in June 2010.

He was killed on the eve of a firearms trial he was due to face alongside other defendants, including Apena.

Violent rap lyrics

The Old Bailey heard that Apena, of south London, arranged Samuel's murder from within an Oxfordshire prison using illicit mobile phones.

Jurors were told he had composed violent rap lyrics saying "kill your co-defendant if he's snitching in court".

He claimed the words did not refer to the victim but were in fact inspired by the X-Factor.

The court heard Apena and others plotted Samuel's murder because inconsistencies between his account of the allegations and those of others could have caused problems for the defence during the case.

Image caption Samuel was shot in the back of the head

Judge Richard Hawkins said: "The murder was intended to obstruct the course of justice."

Apena was given concurrent terms for perverting justice and firearms offences.

Another defendant, Rocky Thompson, 24, was jailed for 10 years for firearm offences. He was found not guilty of murder after the jury failed to agree a verdict.

A 17-year-old youth was given four years' youth detention after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice by setting fire to the car where Samuel was found. He was cleared of plotting the murder.

Investigating officer Det Ch Insp Damian Allain said: "Samuel had a bright future ahead of him and had not been in trouble with the police before.

"Apena, an older man, duped him into a situation which ultimately cost him his life.

"Samuel was executed in a cold blooded and truly evil act just so they could escape justice."

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