Double murder trial latest: ‘shoot or be shot’ says Canning Town accused

A partygoer who shot two men dead outside a nightclub admitted he was “stupid” last week, but claimed he was acting in self defence.

Michael Smith, 27, told the Old Bailey he opened fire because he feared Eugene Brown, 27, was going to shoot him. Mr Brown was fatally wounded by a single bullet to the head. Another shot killed 26-year-old Patrick Ford, one of Smith’s childhood friends, jurors heard.

Smith was then shot four times in retaliation but managed to escape the scene in a white BMW, it is claimed.

Giving evidence, Smith said he had seen Mr Brown on the dance floor of the Sugar Lounge bar in Forest Gate, in the early hours of May 29 last year. He said he opened fire after leaving the club when he saw a gun in Mr Brown’s left hand.

“In hindsight I did something stupid. I decided to shoot or be shot. I didn’t intend to let him turn round. I just shot generally in that direction and continued moving.

“Basically it was mostly I panicked and in that situation I didn’t think it was someone I could take the chance with, if I gave him the opportunity to turn round he would have shot me.

“I fired at least two or three shots. I didn’t stop to see whether I shot someone. I just continued moving towards my car.”

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Wound to the head

He was then shot several times by Kevin Powell, 35, before jumping through the window of a white BMW, the court heard.

One of the men in the car was Nana Oppong, 30, who is accused of pointing out the targets for Smith before the shooting.

Jurors have heard Mr Ford died at the scene from a bullet wound to the chest while Mr Brown spent six weeks in hospital before dying from a gunshot wound to the head.

Smith, of Beaconsfield Road, Canning Town, and Oppong, of West Road, Stratford, deny two counts of murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Oppong denies doing acts to pervert course of justice by providing a false witness statement. Powell, of Harlesden Road, Willesden, denies attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The trial continues.