Doormen cleared over clubber killing
PUBLISHED: 17:35 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:36 11 August 2010
THE FAMILY of a clubber who was stamped to death were left stunned after two bouncers were cleared of killing him. Lee Rayner s skull was almost broken in half as he lay helpless on the ground following a confrontation with doormen at the Opium Lounge in
THE FAMILY of a clubber who was stamped to death were left stunned after two bouncers were cleared of killing him.
Lee Rayner's skull was almost broken in half as he lay helpless on the ground following a confrontation with doormen at the Opium Lounge in Romford.
Johnives Kalu, 23, and Albanian Rustem Geca, 24, were today found guilty of violent disorder at the Old Bailey following a six week trial.
But they were cleared of both murder and manslaughter of Mr Rayner, 30. His brother John, 21, wept as the verdicts were delivered.
The pair will now be sentenced alongside three other doormen who earlier admitted beating up the victim's brother 21-year-old John Rayner.
Judge Peter Thornton QC adjourned sentencing until June 27.
Lee and John went to the Opium Lounge with four friends on June 16 last year.
They were 'drunk and boisterous' and took offence when they were refused entry.
One of the group spat at bouncer Charlotte Paul before they walked off down St Edwards Way.
But the furious bouncers decided to avenge their female colleague,
Geca and Kalu rounded up other bouncers from the bar and the angry group set off in pursuit.
They caught them up in St Edwards Way just a few minutes later.
Giving evidence John Rayner said: 'I said to Lee "let's run". We ran back the way we had come. They were chasing us. We got separated.'
He was floored by a punch before being repeatedly kicked in the head and body.
When he got up he saw four men crowded round his prone brother.
He said: 'I could see there was a group round him, kicking him. He was lying just in the road.'
He found his brother unconscious on the ground, blood pouring from his eyes and head.
Lee had suffered fatal brain damage and never regained consciousness.
Doctors found his skull had been fractured almost the entire circumference.
Kalu and Geca denied taking part in the attack.
'I didn't want any involvement in a fight,' Kalu told jurors, 'I was kind of hanging around the junction for a few seconds and I saw a figure drop. Someone just fell. I know now it was Lee Rayner."
Kalu claimed he did not realise how badly injured Mr Rayner was.
Geca said the bouncers had not purposefully gone out to 'find the Rayner group' but chanced upon them.
Kalu, of East Ham Manor Way, Beckton, and Geca, of Porters Avenue, Dagenham, denied murder.
John Raynor was attacked by Lazar, Samuel Davison, 38, and postman Andrew Houchelli, 37, of Petits Lane, Romford, who have since pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.
Davidson, of the Gascoigne Estate, Barking, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of pepper spray.
Doorman Lazar, of east London, also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The trial continues.