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‘Clown mask’ gang member who brandished gun during chase faces jail | UK News



A gang member who brandished a shotgun from a stolen BMW while wearing a “scary clown mask” during a police chase is facing jail.

Lekan Akinsoji, 21, and three other men in their early twenties were pursued by officers during a “ride out” to target rivals in east London, the Old Bailey heard.

One suspect was filmed waving a gun out of the window as they drove through narrow residential streets at up to 60mph.

Police opened fire in belief their lives were in danger, jurors were told.

One officer described the white mask as reminiscent of the Hollywood film Heat.

Still from undated handout video issued by the Metropolitan Police of a shotgun being brandished from a stolen BMW during a police chase, as a gang member who donned a "scary clown mask" during the chase is facing jail. Lekan Akinsoji, 21, is on trial alongside Nathaniel Lewis, 23, Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21, and Troy Ifill, 22, all said to be associated with east London gangs, who had formed an alliance under the name "Northside Newham". PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday January 30,
The shotgun was brandished from a stolen BMW

In dramatic dashcam footage played in court, an officer could be heard shouting: “Gun. Gun. They’ve got a gun.

“They are pointing a long barrelled weapon at us”.

The chase ended when the BMW drove the wrong way down a one-way street in Leytonstone.

Akinsoji emerged from the vehicle wearing the clown mask, and all four gang members were wearing gloves and had their faces either partially or fully covered.

The pair appeared at the Old Bailey, where they denied all charges
The four men were pursued by police during a ‘ride out,’ the Old Bailey heard

Police seized a number of weapons including an axe and a “zombie” knife.

They also discovered a loaded shotgun in the car and cartridges on the ground nearby.

Forensic testing showed it had not been fired on the night of 26 July last year.

Akinsoji was linked to the Woodgrange or “E7” gang from Forest Gate in east London, the court heard.

He was on trial alongside Nathaniel Lewis, 23, Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21, and Troy Ifill, 22, who were also said to be associated with east London gangs.

The defendants are said to have formed an alliance under the name “Northside Newham”.

Their plan was to cause serious injury or death to a rival gang member when they embarked on a “ride out”, prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC said.

He said the arsenal of weapons found in the stolen car suggested “their obvious intention that night”.

Mr Orchard told jurors: “Having assessed the situation, and as he drove, the police driver fired four shots through the front windscreen of his police vehicle in the direction of the gunman.

“He had been trained to shoot like this. In fact, the shots missed.”

All four men denied the charges against them.

The jury took a day and a half to find them all guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard how a fifth man, the driver, ran away from the BMW and was not arrested.

The defendants were remanded in custody to be sentenced on 8 February.

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