Three jailed following Peckham murder

29 July 2011

Samuel Ogunro

Two men and a 17-year boy have today, Friday 29 July, been sentenced at the Old Bailey to a total of 46 years' imprisonment following the murder of a 17-year old student from south London.

Samuel Ogunro's murder was ordered by Ola Apena, 22, of no fixed address, after Samuel refused to 'take the rap' for the crimes Apena, Rocky Thompson, 25, of no fixed address, and their associates had committed.

"I'm pleased that the jury has returned guilty verdicts in this tragic case"

The teenager's body was discovered inside a burning vehicle in Jowlett Street, SE15 on 1 June 2010. He had been shot in the head before the vehicle was set alight.

Samuel had no previous convictions and was studying towards a sports leadership qualification at Lewisham College.

Today the judge sentenced Apena to 32 years' imprisonment for Samuel's murder, firearm offences and perverting the course of justice.

Thompson was sentenced to a total of 10 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to transfer a firearm, supplying a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

A 17-year old boy from Peckham was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for perverting the course of justice.

During the trial the jury heard the details of what led to Samuel's tragic fate.

On 19 August 2009, Samuel received a call from Apena, who he had known since primary school. Apena asked if Samuel would like to come for a drive with him. It was the summer holidays and Samuel agreed.

Samuel was picked up from his Peckham home by Apena and they later picked up a second friend.

Before long Samuel realised they were in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Unbeknown to him, Apena was there to purchase a gun from Rocky Thompson and others.

Officers from Trident stopped the vehicle in a proactive intelligence-led operation and arrested Samuel and others.

Within the vehicle officers found a real firearm and 16 rounds of ammunition.

Detectives believe Samuel was duped into the trip by Apena and others who had planned to make Samuel take the gun back to London by train in the hope that his young age and good character would mean he would be undetected.

However, Trident officers had watched the deal and arrested Samuel, Apena, Thompson and others shortly after.

Their trial was due to start on 1 June 2010 at Reading Crown Court. In the run up Apena put pressure on Samuel to plead guilty and take all responsibility in order to clear him of any involvement.

When Samuel refused Apena plotted to murder him, ordering and arranging his killing from prison while remanded in custody.

The last time Samuel was seen alive was shortly after 21:00hrs on 31 May 2010 when it is thought he was lured to his death by a telephone call.

He was shot in the head, the bullet passing through his brain. His body was discovered by fire fighters who were called to extinguish the burning vehicle.

Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Damian Allain, Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "Samuel had a bright future ahead of him and had not been in trouble with the police before. Apena, an older man, duped him into a situation which ultimately cost him his life. Samuel was executed in a cold blooded and truly evil act just so they could escape justice.

"His family have had their lives ripped apart by his death and I hope that today's convictions go in some way to help them come to terms with their loss."

Southwark Police Borough commander Wayne Chance, said: "I'm pleased that the jury has returned guilty verdicts in this tragic case and I hope it will bring some closure to both Samuel's family and the community in and around Peckham.

"If there is one thing to learn from Samuel's dreadful murder, that is we all need to protect innocent young men, boys and girls from being swept up by people using them for their own criminal activities.

"This is a call to all families, communities, congregations and authorities to work together to protect our children and young people from those who seek to cause them harm for no other than their own selfish reasons.

"Samuel's death has deeply affected a multitude, including myself and we should not allow his death to pass without trying to bring some good from this."

On Wednesday 20 July, the jury found the 17-year old boy from Peckham not guilty of murder but guilty of perverting the course of justice.

On the same day, Adeoyin James-Odukoya, 23 (9.06.89) of New Place Square SE16 was found not guilty of murder.

On the same day the jury were unable to reach a verdict on Rocky Thomson, 25 (9.09.85) of no fixed address regarding a count of conspiracy to murder and perverting the course of justice.

Full details of convictions and sentences:

Ola Apena - Guilty of:

Count 1: Conspiracy to transfer a prohibited weapon - Eight years' imprisonment.
Count 3: Receive a firearm - Three years' imprisonment.
Count 4 - 7: Possession of a firearm and ammunition - Indeterminate sentence of 12 years' for Public Protection.
Count 8: Conspiracy to murder - 32 years' imprisonment.
Count 9: Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - Nine years' imprisonment.

All to run concurrently.

Rocky Thompson - Guilty of:

  • Count 1: Conspiracy to transfer a prohibited weapon - Eight years' imprisonment.
  • Count 2: Supply a firearm with intent to endanger life - Ten years' imprisonment.
  • Count 4 - 7: Possession of a firearm and ammunition - Three years' imprisonment.

All to run concurrently.

Hung jury in respect of Thompson on:

  • Count 8: Conspiracy to murder
  • Count 9: Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

The 17 year old boy - Perverting the course of justice - Four years' imprisonment.