A Croydon man has been jailed for life for murdering another man by driving his car at him outside the Ministry of Sound nightclub in South London.
Ranjit Nankani, 30, killed Gary Johnson, 25, from Streatham following an argument inside the nightclub in August last year.
After driving his Mitsubishi Shogun at Johnson, pinning him to a wall, Nankani himself miraculously survived an attempt on his own life when Johnson’s friend, Dwayne McPherson, 28, from Sydenham, fired four shots at him at close range. McPherson was also found guilty of attempted murder.
Aftab Jafferjee, QC, prosecuting, told the jury at the Old Bailey that the case involved ”breathtaking lawlessness on the streets of London.”
He said that what had began as a relatively minor incident had escalated into ”murderous violence.”
The drama began when Nankini accidentally stepped on the toes of Johnson inside the nightclub. He apologised, but there was a violent confrontation between Johnson and McPherson on one side and Nankini and two other men on the other side. However, bouncers broke up the fight and threw both groups out of the club.
However, Nankini went back to his car and saw McPherson and Johnson walking down the street.
Closed circuit television camera footage played to the court showed the Shogun being driven onto a pavement and knocking over a bollard, before accelerating, hurling Mr Johnson against a wall and killing him instantly. The Shogun then crashed into a taxi containing two woman, who the court heard, were lucky to escape with their lives.
McPherson then pulled out a gun, went over to the Shogun and fired four rounds at close range into the vehicle. Nankini survived with only a small shoulder wound.
The jury rejected Nankini’s defence that he got into the Shogun and then heard gunshots, , ducked down behind the steering wheel and drove off in an attempt to escape being shot but not being able to see where he was heading.
Sentencing him to a minimum of 18 years, Judge Stephen Kramer said his attack must have involved a degree of premeditation. He said: ‘’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.”
McPherson will be sentenced later. The trial was unable to resolve the question of whether the gun had been smuggled into the nightclub.