Long read: Gunman hid 13 rounds of ammunition in bushes by Loxford Park
- Credit: Archant
On a balmy summer day last year, families ran for their lives after hearing two gunshots ring out across Loxford Park in Ilford.
The shooting of the 22-year-old victim Rhy Bryin sent shockwaves through the community - not only because an 11-year-old was also injured by a stray pellet - but because the horrendous act had been carried out in broad daylight.
Whilst young children, teenagers and families played in the sunshine, they had no idea that gunman Joshan Addison, 19, had stored 13 rounds of ammunition nearby.
On August 8 last year, Addison, who was 18 at the time, blasted Mr Rhys Bryin, 22, in the back with a shotgun, in the road outside Loxford General Store, in Ilford, at around 4.30pm.
Paramedics found that Mr Bryin had suffered more than 60 shotgun pellet wounds to his back as a result of the brutal attack.
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He had to be airlifted to Royal London Hospital for treatment as a number of his internal organs, including his lung, kidneys and spleen, were badly damaged.
On Friday, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court found Addison, 19, of Thornton Avenue, Ilford, guilty of attempted murder for the shooting of Mr Bryin, and wounding with intent for the injured boy.
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They rejected his claim that the brutal attack had been carried out in self defence.
Addison, who is also known as “Monster”, had told the court that he “feared for his life” after friends had warned him that Mr Bryin wanted to murder him, following an incident five days earlier.
But he admitted in the dock that his past interviews with the police, and statement to his lawyers, which blamed his co-defendants, had been a “pack of lies”.
When the 19-year-old was arrested at his home in October in connection with the shooting, he was discovered hiding under his bed in his bedroom.
Addison told the police that they were “mugs” and that he expected to be released in two days.
Over a three week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Addison said he had “found peace” and was finally telling the truth.
He claimed he was acting in self defence after an incident five days earlier where Mr Bryin ended up accidentally stabbing himself in the head whilst threatening Addison.
He said: “I didn’t know him personally, but I was aware of him. I knew he went by the name TNT. I was sitting in a Jeep with my friends on Green Lane when Rhys pulled up in a car alongside us.
“Rhys knew one of the people I was with and they spoke but he didn’t like the way I was looking at him. He asked ‘who is this young kid?’ as in he was dissing me because I was younger than him.
“I asked him what his problem was and he pulled out a knife on me. I got scared so I got out and ran towards his car and kicked his door in so he couldn’t get out.
“His elbow hit the window and he ended up stabbing himself in the head.”
After this, Addison said he heard through word of mouth that Mr Bryin felt “violated” and wanted to murder him.
He told the court: “He was asking people for my address. He said he was going to send shots at my house.”
On the day of the shooting, Addison said he was spurred to get a gun from a friend, after spotting Mr Bryin driving along Oaktree Grove, in Ilford, around 3pm that afternoon.
He said: “Every time I was outside I was travelling in cars. I was scared.
“On August 8 [the day of the shooting], I was socialising with friends on the Oaktree estate, when I saw Rhys approach in a car with a friend.
“I ran away before he could see me, I was shocked to see him in the area, I thought he was there to do serious harm.”
Mr Addison told the court how he immediately called an older friend who delivered a shotgun and 13 rounds of ammunition to Loxford Lane.
He said: “I accepted the gun. I thought TNT [Mr Bryin] had a gun.
“The way he was dressed all in black, wearing gloves, a hat and a mask, and coming to where I socialise, I thought he must have a gun.”
After the shooting, police recovered a knife at the scene of the crime but no eyewitnesses reported seeing any other firearms and none were recovered.
In the incident five days earlier concerning Rhys, Addison had lost his phone as he attempted to flee the scene, so after the shooting, he couldn’t contact anyone, he told the court.
In a desperate plea, the gunman begged a bystander in Brockenhurst Gardens to drive him home, claiming someone was trying to shoot him.
But the quick-thinking resident claimed he was unable to drive and he was forced to escape on foot, before he was picked up by his friends.
On Friday, the jury also found co-defendants Ali Sheikh, 23, of Buttsbury Road, and a teenage Ilford boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, guilty of assisting Addison immediately after the shooting.
The pair were picked up on CCTV looking for Addison following the incident although Sheikh had claimed that he was only in the area by coincidence after completing a drug deal nearby.
A fourth defendant, Jabir Mohammed, 22, of Cobham Road, was also spotted on camera, and had previously pleaded guilty to assisting Addison earlier in the trial.
After the shooting, Addison, who is also known as “Monster” told Snaresbrook Crown Court how he wiped down the gun to remove his prints before throwing it in the River Roding.
He also bagged his clothes and burnt them that evening behind a supermarket in Chadwell Heath, along with Mohammed, 22, and the unnamed teenage boy.
That night, Addison stayed in a hotel and then spent a few weeks sofa surfing at friend’s homes before returning home where he was arrested.
During the trial, several eyewitnesses gave evidence about the fateful day, including a mother who feared she would be shot when Addison ran past her car, holding the gun.
She said: “I was about to get out and get my daughter out the back seat and I heard a big bang.
“I looked towards the road and saw the person in dark clothes running past my car window.
“He passed me and I saw someone running after him with a gun.
“The man in the dark clothing ran towards Loxford Lane but stumbled and fell over. Then the man with the gun stood right over him and fired another shot into him.
“When I saw that, I ducked down in my car and told my daughter to go down too. I thought I was ducking for my life.”
Nine months after the incident, it is clear that a sense of normality has not returned to the eyewitnesses who bravely gave evidence during the trial.
Many chose to give evidence from behind a curtain, to ensure they did not see the defendants, and the brother of the 11-year-old who was shot told the court his memory of that fateful day.
When asked by a police officer how seeing his brother be shot in the face had made him feel, the teenager said he had been terrified.
He told the court: “Everyone in the path was screaming and shouting.
“Only my dad and I can go back to Loxford Park now. My brother, sisters and mother are too scared to go.”
Sentencing will take place at Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 30.