Published: 09:00, 30 July 2014 |
Updated: 15:35, 30 July 2014
A former soldier from Dartford has been jailed for life for murdering a man.
Daniel Burgess, of Weardale Avenue, shot Marcus Innocent, 35, in the stomach after he was dragged into a car park in south east London by a gang.
The 33-year-old was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey and must serve a minimum of 28 years before being considered for parole.
Mr Innocent was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" when he met the 20-strong posse who had gone to avenge the vandalism of a friend’s car in Kidbrooke on November 19, 2012.
Burgess, also guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, was one of 14 people charged in connection with Mr Innocent’s death.
Judge Richard Marks told the killer: “If ever there was a man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time it was the unfortunate Marcus Innocent.
“He was punched and kicked and at some point you picked up that gun which had been unloaded from your vehicle.
“You have a knowledge of guns from your time in the army. The gun was discharged twice in rapid succession.
“The first time into the air but the second time it was discharged into Mr Innocent’s lower abdomen from no more than six inches.
“When medics arrived they were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“As soon as you had shot him you fled, thinking only of yourself, and did everything you possibly could to avoid justice.”
Instead of going to the police, he rounded up a posse of around 20 young men to try and track down the perpetrators, spending an hour looking around.
The posse was hunting for a man named Curtis ‘Curly’ Cowan and tried to use Mr Innocent to lure him into a trap.
“As soon as you had shot him you fled, thinking only of yourself, and did everything you possibly could to avoid justice" - Judge Richard Marks
As their victim tried to walk away, the group attacked him and a fight broke out.
Mr Innocent, selling CDs and DVDs in the area, was shot in the stomach with the shotgun.
The gang fled the scene, leaving him to die in the car park.
Joel Bennathan said in mitigation that Burgess’s mother was an alcoholic who died when he was ten years old.
“He has a history of being in a mental hospital and trying to take his life several times,” he said.
“This was a profoundly damaged young man who was stupefied by cannabis and prescription medication.”
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