Man guilty over shooting in cafe
3:30pm Friday 8th June 2012 in News
A MAN from Chafford Hundred has been found guilty of attempted murder after he shot a man twice in a Woodford cafe.
On November 14, Temidire Owolabi, 21, stormed into Cakes and Shakes, in High Road, brandished a pistol and shot the cafe owner, James Bryant, twice in the chest.
Mr Bryant, 24, is lucky to be alive after spending two months in hospital recovering.
The shooting was thought to have been ordered by Owolabi’s friend, Romaine Arthur, 23, after Mr Bryant was seen holding Arthur’s two-year-old son at Westfield Shopping Centre.
It occurred when Mr Bryant returned to the shop with his mother to begin clearing up after a separate shooting on the site two days earlier.
Owolabi, of Brandon Close, Chafford Hundred, was cleared at the Old Bailey of one count of possessing a firearm with intent relating to that incident.
But he wept as the jury gave its guilty verdict in relation to the shooting two days later.
He went on to unleash an angry outburst and had to be contained by six security guards as a female member of the jury was reduced to tears.
The jury were unable to come to a verdict on whether Arthur, from Chingford, and Owolabi had conspired to murder.
Both will be retried at a later date, when Owolabi will be sentenced for his attempted murder conviction.
Det Chief Insp Kenny McDonald, the senior investigating officer from Trident, said: “The shop is on a busy High Street and is often frequented by children.
“It was only by chance that no one else was hurt or seriously wounded.
“To have such complete disregard for human life is deplorable and I hope Owolabi will spend many years in prison contemplating the consequences of his actions. Law-abiding citizens in our communities resolve such disagreements without violence.”
Under cross examination, Owolabi said: “I’m supposed to have shot somebody because he was holding my friend’s son, but my friend wasn’t even upset by it.
“Even if he was, I’ve got my own life.
“It’s completely ridiculous and I can’t even believe this is happening.”
CCTV showed a man pulling a gun from his jacket as he entered the cafe and mobile phone cell site records showed Owolabi was in the Cakes and Shakes area at the time.
After the shooting, Owolabi fled to Southampton, where he was arrested three days later.