Van driver accused of shooting drug-dealing teenager on Battersea estate
A teenager shot in the back last summer had been dealing drugs and was connected to Battersea’s notorious SUK gang, a court heard.
Kyle McDonald, 19, from Fulham, was shot on Battersea’s Winstanley Estate on the evening of September 18 last year. On Kyle’s body were found 30 rocks of crack cocaine, cannabis and hundreds of pounds in cash.
Part of the crime scene last summer near the Kambala Estate
Noor Omar, 23, of St John's Hill, Battersea, is on trial for his murder which opened today at the Old Bailey.
Prosecution lawyer Peter Finnigan QC said the Crown did not have a motive for the crime but claimed Kyle had SUK gang connections and Mr Omar’s white VW van had been parked nearby in the minutes before the murder and acted as the getaway vehicle - vacating moments after the shooting.
SUK, or Stick ‘em Up Kids, is a notorious Battersea-based gang.
Mr Finnigan said: “Last year on a September evening whilst it was still light, although getting a bit dark, a young man named Kyle McDonald made his way along a residential road, along a street in Battersea.
“The entrance to the road, a cul-de-sac, was covered by CCTV cameras. The only way out at the other end was by a pedestrian walkway – that too was covered by CCTV.
“Kyle, who was only 19, was a familiar figure on the estate and regular visitor and had grown up nearby. On this day he was dealing drugs in a small way.
“As he walked along the road in the section not covered by any CCTV cameras he was shot once in the back.
“The bullet passed through him and lodged just underneath the skin on the front of his chest. On its way it passed through his right lung and his heart.
“Although fatally injured and wounded Kyle was able to make his way some 150 metres or so.”
Mr McDonald made his way through the pedestrian walkway, into another section of the estate, where he collapsed and died.
Mr Finnigan added: “The shot had been heard, hardly surprising, by various nearby residents.
“One of them, upon hearing it and hearing someone groaning, went to his window to look out. What he saw was an individual who must have been the gunman, say the prosecution, running away.
“That man was sprinting fast and appeared to be trying to hold up his trousers with one hand on his waist band.”
Kyle collapsed in Coppock Close
The man was seen head towards a turn in the road which took him out of sight and soon police were on the scene where a crowd began to gather.
A trail of blood revealed where Mr McDonald had been shot and specialist police found a 9mm calibre cartridge case in the street. Nothing of the murder had been caught on CCTV.
Mr Finnigan continued: “[The gunman] had gone around the corner, the turn in the road, to a van and that van was then driven away. The van belonged to the defendant Mr Noor Omar.
“Mr Noor Omar does not dispute that he was driving the van at the time of the murder.
“CCTV shows that the van was driven into the cul-de-sac just after 7.30 that evening.
“At 7.42 it did something rather unusual- it noses its way out of the cul-de-sac just at the moment when Kyle can be seen to be making his way towards the entrance to the cul-de-sac.
“As Kyle crossed the road to the cul-de-sac the van moved back into the cul-de-sac and then it reversed out of the sight of the cameras and that, say the prosecution, was no coincidence.
Flowers at the scene
“It is the Crown’s case that the driver had seen Kyle and was going to intercept him. Timings are very important.
“Kyle now walked into the place where he’s going to be murdered. Within moments of the shooting the van left the cul-de-sac.”
Mr Omar is expected to argue that he was the user of the white VW van at the time of the shooting and was going to visit a relative nearby, coming off the main road to make a telephone call.
Mr Omar told police he was not a friend of the deceased but did know him. He said he had seen a picture of Kyle on instagram saying RIP and travelled to the estate to have a look later that evening.
Mr Finnigan added: “The motive of the murder is not known. What is known is that Kyle had gang connections to what is known locally as SUK and he was also dealing drugs.
“We say [Mr Omar] played a vital part in the murder of young Kyle McDonald. Whether he himself fired the shot or just it was someone else concealed in the back of the van is not known.
“No other person is seen in that van on the night in question. There is a driver and no other passenger.
“If it was him that fired the shot intended to kill or at least harm Kyle he is guilty of murder. If he participated in this crime by driving the gunman to and from the scene – he is equally guilty of murder.”
The trial of Mr Omar, who denies murder, is expected to last two-and-a-half weeks.