Five cleared of Gary Guthrie murder
Monday, 16 March 2009
FIVE men walked free from court after they were cleared of gunning down two Jamaicans in the street.
A gang of up to eight men sprayed the victims with bullets after chasing them out of the Starlight Rooms nightclub in Streatham in the early hours of October 22, 2007.
Gary “Curry Cat” Guthrie, 35, died after being struck in the chest, while Rowan Williams, 33, survived after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his neck.
Murder charges against five of the defendants were dropped after trial Judge Mr Justice Owen ruled there was not enough evidence against them.
Simon Rhodes-Butler, 32, Michael Wabara, 24, Courtney Hutchinson, 24, Ashley Thomas, 21, and Nathan Cross, 28, all walked free from court.
The judge told the jury: “The evidence that has been called before you does not disclose a case against them in relation to either count one or two.
"Accordingly I’m going to direct you to enter verdicts of not guilty in relation to each of them.”
The five men hugged each other in the dock as they walked free.
The two remaining defendants, are Junior Cameron, 26, and Darrell Albert, 28.
It is claimed career criminal Cameron fired the fatal shot using a Steyr self-loading pistol before telling friends “I think I got one”.
Following the acquittal of his five co-defendants, Cameron told the court he had no idea who either of the victims were, although he admitted being in the Starlight Rooms on the night of the killing.
The court heard Cameron has repeatedly been in trouble with the law from the age of 13 – with a string of previous convictions including possession of firearms and knives.
He is currently awaiting sentence for possession of firearms, after three guns were found in his girlfriend’s flat.
Cameron and Albert, both of no fixed address, deny murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Mr Rhodes-Butler, of no fixed address; Mr Hutchinson, of Christchurch Road, Tulse Hill; Mr Thomas, of Coalville Terrace, Ladbroke Grove; Mr Cross, of Chryssell Road, Kennington; and Mr Wabara, of Risley Avenue, Tottenham, were cleared of murder and attempted murder.
The trial continues.