A member of Hackney’s ‘Lordship Boys’ gang has been convicted of murdering a man out celebrating his birthday in Clerkenwell.
Dean Smith, 26, of Stoke Newington was on Monday found guilty of murdering Aarron McKoy, 22, on New Year’s Day this year. The verdict was returned by a jury at the Old Bailey after a 12-week trial.
Smith will be sentenced next Monday, December 17.
McKoy had been out that night to celebrate his 22nd birthday with his twin brother at the Clerkenwell House Wine Bar in Hatton Wall.
The police were called at around 4:10am on January 1 with reports of a shooting in Portpool Lane. McKoy was said to be suffering from gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tensions had risen at the bar where members of rival London Fields and Lordship gangs were present. McKoy and his brother, who are linked to the Holly Street area, were not involved with the gangs.
An argument was heard outside the bar at 4am, during which McKoy was stabbed. The violence then escalated and McKoy was chased down the street by a group of gang members until he fell down, around 100 metres from the club, and was shot three times by Smith.
Six men, including Smith, were arrested and charged between January and March this year. While Smith was convicted, the others were not found guilty.
“Today’s conviction proves that 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 the Trident Gang Crime Command.
“We always knew Smith was the gunman, the court heard that Aarron [McKoy] was pursued by a group of six men and it was for this reason that all of the group members were charged under a joint enterprise. It was a direct result of charging them that they gave evidence in court against Smith.”
He added that this was one of the first murder trials since the Command was formed in February this year.