Two teenage gunmen face life sentences at the Old Bailey for killing a father-of-three in a botched execution as he sat in a car at traffic lights on a summer’s afternoon.
Eddie Thompson, 29, was shot dead at point blank range after swapping seats with the pair’s intended target.
The plan was hatched by a thug serving a community service order doing unpaid work at a school in Hackney.
Kallum Morris, now 18, recruited the two gunmen to carry out the hit over a “festering dispute” he had with another person doing community service at the same school.
Paul Stoby, 18, and Kieron Lawrence, 19, hired a minicab to follow their target and Mr Thompson from the school on a Sunday afternoon in September last year.
Unknown to them Mr Thompson had moved to the front passenger seat which better suited his large frame.
As Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “That change of mind may have saved the intended victim’s life but, sadly, at the expense of Mr Thompson.”
Morris and Stoby, both of Hackney, and Lawrence, from Walthamstow, were all convicted of murder and will be sentenced to detention for life later this month by Judge Peter Rook.
Lawrence was dragged from the dock by prison officers screaming “I’m f****** innocent” as the verdicts were returned and members of Mr Thompson’s family wept at the back of court.
Stoby and Lawrence had set off in a car to follow Mr Thompson with Morris in a third vehicle behind.
“As the car stopped at traffic lights on a busy main road in Hackney, Stoby and Lawrence got out of the minicab and as Mr Thompson sat with the window open he was gunned down in broad daylight on a summer’s afternoon,” said Mr Jafferjee.
“A single bullet, probably intended for his head, entered his left shoulder and went into his chest cavity and killed him.”
Which one of the two fired the shot is unknown but both took part in a joint enterprise “or in other words they were all in it together”, said Mr Jafferjee.
“Morris was the man with the motive and the recruiter and Stoby and Lawrence were the henchmen physically supporting each other in ensuring this high-stakes plan was executed with the minimum of disruption.”
The gunmen escaped into the Pembury estate while Mr Thompson was taken to Homerton Hospital where he died.
Mr Jaferjee said the basis of the argument between Morris and his intended murder target was unknown: “It appears to have been pretty one-sided with Morris confronting and threatening and the other man wanting nothing of it.”