Gang members who pointed a loaded gun at police in high speed chase jailed for 104 years

PUBLISHED: 14:12 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:51 01 March 2019

Lekan Akinsoji. Pic: Met Police

Lekan Akinsoji. Pic: Met Police


Four gang members who took part in a police chase where officers had a shotgun waved at them by a passenger wearing a ‘scary clown mask’ have been jailed today for a total of 104 years.

Darnell Joseph-Newill. Pic: Met PoliceDarnell Joseph-Newill. Pic: Met Police

The officers were forced to open fire after fearing for their lives during the pursuit that started in Leytonstone and ended in Forest Gate.

Today at the Old Bailey, Lekan Akinsoji, 21, from Dagenham, who waved the gun at the officers, was jailed for 26 years after for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

His accomplices Nathaniel Lewis, 23, of Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, Darnell Joseph-Newill, 21, of Willis Road, Plaistow, and Troy Ifill, 22, of Torrens Square, Maryland, were also sentenced to 26 years each.

Det Chief Insp Jane Topping, investigating officer, said: “The judge has recognised the severity of the offence and the fact that firearms were pointed at officers and also that the males involved went out to commit serious violence.”

Troy Ifill. Pic: Met PoliceTroy Ifill. Pic: Met Police

All three were also convicted possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit GBH.

Jurors heard Akinsoji, who is linked to the Woodgrange E7 gang, and the other three formed an alliance under the name ‘Northside Newham’.

All four had taken part in drill videos where they bragged about gang activity and serious criminality.

They were doing a ‘ride out’ to target rivals in Leytonstone on July 26 last year when they were spotted by the officers who were responding to reports of men in the area with a gun.

Nathaniel Lewis. Pic: Met PoliceNathaniel Lewis. Pic: Met Police

Shortly before 11pm the officers tried to pull them over but they sped off before Akinsoji donned his mask and waved the gun at them.

The high speed chase came to an end in Bective Road, Forest Gate, when the BMW was blocked by an oncoming vehicle.

The driver fled the scene, and is still at large, but his passengers Akinsoji, Lewis and Joseph-Newill were arrested at the scene.

All were wearing gloves and had their faces either partially or fully covered including Akinsoji who was still wearing the mask.

The clown mask recovered following the chase. DCI Topping said: The clown mask recovered following the chase. DCI Topping said: "Anyone SEEING this coming towards them would be terrified." Picture: MPS

Police also seized a deadly of weapons, including the shotgun, which was loaded, an axe and several zombie knives.

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