A jilted ex-boyfriend accused of gunning down an eighteen-year-old trainee plumber “to teach him a lesson” is facing life in prison today after he was found guilty of murder.
The Old Bailey heard that 22-year-old Michael Bagnall, who organised the murder of Ben Purdy, threatened to “blow his brains out” shortly before the fatal attack on November 23 last year.
Bagnall allegedly organised the revenge hit on Bermondsey teen Ben to “teach him a lesson” when he started dating his ex-girlfriend. He raised a posse including his uncle, Andrew Bayne, 37, to hunt down Ben and shoot him dead, it is said.
The prosecution claimed Bayne fired the deadly shot, having been “wound up” by Bagnall, who pointed out Mr Purdy as the intended target.
But Andrew Lloyd-Eley QC, defending Bayne, suggested there could have been a second gun shot fired from a different gun during the attack.
He told the jury during his closing speech: “It’s true that Michael threatened to blow his brains out. Maybe it was an accident of speech, or perhaps he was preparing for that eventuality – it’s a matter for you.”
Mr Lloyd-Eley said the angle of the gunshot wound suggests it was fired a head height rather than from Bayne’s position in the driver’s seat of his car. He also said there was evidence to support the claim that a second shot was fired from a different gun.
He said: “The car is only there for three-and-a-half seconds and there’s no time for a second shot as it was not a self-loading pistol.”
“That second shot must have come from a different gun being held by someone else. It’s likely to have been somebody standing nearby who had access to a gun. Is it possible Ben Purdy dropped his gun and it was picked up by someone – it’s a matter entirely for you.”
Bagnall claims his uncle produced a gun unexpectedly and he fled immediately after he heard a gunshot ring out.
Mr Lloyd-Eley said CCTV shows the car Bayne was driving was in a position to fire a shot for just three and a half seconds.
He said there was a five and a half second period between the first shot and Bagnall running away, when he was obscured by a van.
He asked: “What was he doing for those five and a half seconds? If he had run off straight away, just run off down the park, it wouldn’t have taken five and a half seconds to clear the back of the van.
Michael Bagnall and Andrew Bayne, of Alpine Road, denied murder but were found guilty.
Reece Bayne, of Concorde Way, and Harry McAleer, eighteen, were cleared of murder midway through the trial due to lack of evidence, but were found guilty with Bagnall of conspiracy to commit assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Bagnall and Anthony Bayne, both also of Alpine Road, all denied affray but were also convicted.
Andrew Bayne denied possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and was found guilty.