Teenager denies murdering man outside West Norwood Snooker Club

Croydon Guardian: Daniel Famakinwa Daniel Famakinwa

A teenager accused of gunning-down a 20-year-old in cold blood outside a snooker club has denied firing the fatal shot, claiming he was at a friend’s house feeling “tipsy” and “tired”.

Ezekiel Charles-Sterling, 19, from Upper Norwood, told the Old Bailey on Wednesday, April 25, he left West Norwood Snooker Club in Norwood Road at least an hour before Daniel Famakinwa was killed outside on August 6 last year.

Mr Charles-Sterling, a former South Thames College student, told jurors he travelled to the club from Brixton by bus with fellow defendants Adrian Rhodes and Joshua Chieke.

When they arrived, he was “in two minds” whether to go in but eventually went inside, keeping a small bag of cannabis hidden in the inner pocket of his tracksuit bottoms, the court heard.

At about 3am, he said he took Rhodes’ keys and went to sleep at his house in nearby Wolfington Road because he was “kind of tipsy and kind of tired”.

He then received a phone call from fellow defendant Romelle Bogle, who was also at the club, shortly after 4am saying a “little madness” had happened outside the club and “someone had been shot”. Kaly Kaul QC, defending, asked Mr Charles-Stirling: “And then what did Mr Bogle say?”

Mr Charles-Sterling replied: “He said he was going to phone me back.”

Ms Kaul said: “Did he phone you back immediately?”

He said: “No he didn’t.”

She said: “Did you think to phone him?”

He said: “No, I was just in shock”.

On the first day of the trial, the prosecution claimed the other five defendants “egged on” Mr Charles-Sterling before he shot Mr Famakinwa.

The court also heard the shooting occurred after a dispute between the two groups in the club concerning a girl.

But the alleged gunman denied any involvement at court on Wednesday, and dismissed claims he hid something in an alleyway near the club.

Ms Kaul asked him: “Did you have a gun in your possession on the night of August 6?”

Charles-Sterling replied: “No”.

She then asked: “Did you shoot Daniel Famakinwa?”

He responded: “No”.

Later she asked: “Did you hide anything in an alleyway?”

He said: “No”.

Mr Charles-Sterling along with Romelle Bogle, 18, of Brixton; Joshua Chieke, 18, of Stockwell; Christopher Perry, 18, of Streatham and Adrian Rhodes, 19, of Stockwell, all deny murder.

They also deny possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a prohibited firearm in relation to a second shooting in Charterhouse, London, which happened four weeks later.

Murder and firearm charges against another defendant, Demmar Dawkins, 18, of West Norwood were dropped on Wednesday but he remains charged with the Charterhouse shooting. The trial continues.

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