Gang members who pointed a loaded gun at police during high speed chase will be sentenced today
PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 March 2019
Four gang members who took part in a police chase where officers had a shotgun waved at them by a passenger wearing a ‘scary clown mask’ will be sentenced today.
The officers were forced to open fire after fearing for their lives during the pursuit that started in Leytonstone and ended in Forest Gate.
Last month at the Old Bailey, Lekan Akinsoji, 21, from Dagenham, who waved the gun at the officers, was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.
His accomplices Nathaniel Lewis, 23, of Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21, of Willis Road, Plaistow and Troy Ifill, 22, of Torrens Square, Maryland, were also convicted of the same offences.
Jurors heard Akinsoji, who is linked to the Woodgrange E7 gang, and the other three formed an alliance under the name ‘Northside Newham’.
All four had taken part in drill videos where they bragged about gang activity and serious criminality.
They were doing a ‘ride out’ to target rivals in Leytonstone on July 26 last year when they were spotted by the officers who were responding to reports of men in the area with a gun.
Shortly before 11pm the officers tried to pull them over but they sped off before Akinsoji donned his mask and waved the gun at them.
The high speed chase came to an end in Bective Road, Forest Gate, when the BMW was blocked by an oncoming vehicle.
The driver fled the scene, and is still at large, but his passengers Akinsoji, Lewis and Joseph-Newill were arrested at the scene.
All were wearing gloves and had their faces either partially or fully covered including Akinsoji who was still wearing the mask.
Police also seized a deadly of weapons, including the shotgun, which was loaded, an axe and several zombie knives.
Det Chief Insp Jane Topping, investigating officer, said: “The four defendants who have been convicted are extremely dangerous individuals.
“Given the weapons they had with them, including a firearm and zombie knives, I have no doubt that their intention was to seriously injure or kill someone.”
Click here to watch footage of the police chase.