Man jailed for murder of teenager 14 years ago - Luton

04/09/2015

A man, who took part in the murder of a teenager 14 years ago at a So Solid Crew gig, was jailed for life today, Friday, 04 September 2015.

Adebayo Ekun had fled the country back in 2001 following the beating and stabbing to death of Marcus Hall, who was 18.

Ekun, who was 25 at the time and living in South London, made his way back to his native Nigeria where he remained over the years, even getting married and starting a family. But Luton Crown Court heard today how, earlier this year, police investigating a fraud case in Nigeria swooped on an address in the country and found Ekun present. Ekun, who had been using many aliases over the years, was arrested and it was when his fingerprints were taken that his true identity emerged. It was then discovered he was wanted in connection with Marcus's murder 14 years earlier. Now 39 and a father of two, he decided not to fight extradition and was brought back to the UK where he was arrested and charged with the murder.

Today he pleaded guilty to a single offence of the murder of Marcus in the early hours of 21 March 2001 in Luton town centre. He had been part of a gang that chased Marcus and his friends through Luton town centre and attacked the teenager as he lay helpless on the ground.

Marcus, who was from Peckham in South London, had travelled to Luton with his friends to see the 'infamous' So Solid Crew who were playing that night at a 'garage event' at the Atmosphere nightclub in Chapel Street, Luton. They arrived after midnight and were unable to get in and were still outside the club at 2am when the event finished and crowds began to leave the club.

Ekun, who had been a student at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, had been at the event that night with people he knew from South London.

The court heard that as people spilled out on the street, there was chaos with cars gridlocked. It wasn't long before violence flared and Marcus and his friends found themselves caught up in a street fight with another group of young men. Both sides were armed with baseball bats and cricket bats and a bottle was hurled as the violence erupted.

The court was told it was likely that Marcus, who himself was armed with a baseball bat, was stabbed during this initial confrontation. He and his group were forced to flee and were chased from Chapel Street along Flowers Way and into Park Street West. Unable to keep up with his friends Marcus, who was having trouble with his breathing, collapsed to the ground and was then set upon by his pursuers.

Today Judge Michael Kay QC, hearing the case, was told that Ekun had been one of the group chasing Marcus. As the teen lay on the ground, he was repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped on. He was stabbed in the chest and shoulder and, before the attackers left him dying on the ground, one of them inflicted a deep slash wound across his face. He died shortly afterwards from the stab wounds and the head injuries he had suffered, which included a fractured skull. The blade of the knife used to stab him had punctured his lungs.

Ekun, along with others, had been caught on CCTV and police set about rounding up the gang. The murder was featured on BBC's Crimewatch programme.

The CCTV cameras had captured Ekun wearing a distinctive checked coat. Several appeals were made and information led detectives to a designer clothes store in London where it was discovered that the jacket was one of only nine sold in the UK. The store also had a list of all nine buyers which included Ekun. Detectives raided his London home and found a flyer for the shop, but Ekun had fled the UK.

Five people were eventually convicted of the murder of Marcus at the Old Bailey, but Ekun, who was wanted for his part in the killing, remained at large. The 39-year-old was eventually located and arrested in Nigeria in February this year as part of an operation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Nigerian authorities. The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit worked with the NCA to extradite him back to the UK in March, where he was subsequently charged and remanded into custody.

He pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court today and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 10 years.

Passing sentence Judge Kay told Ekun: "This was a cowardly and brutal and merciless attack. The group you were in acted like a pack of animals, shorn of humanity and sensing blood."

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