Hackney v Tottenham Turks: Getting caught up in a gang feud

Samuel Zerei Rachel Bublil says she wishes she had never let Samuel Zerei into her home

Related Stories

Two men have been jailed for life for murdering the leader of one of north London's most notorious gangs. One innocent family caught up in the feud now hope the conclusion of the trial will mean the end of their own nightmare.

In the early hours of 22 April last year, Rachel Bublil and her husband were asleep at home with their six children when they were woken by a loud bang and scream.

Thinking someone was trying to break into their home, they ran downstairs where they saw a man armed with a dustbin lid trying to break their back door in.

But this was not a burglar. He was someone screaming: "Help, I've been shot".

Ms Bublil and her husband decided to let the man in - a decision they were later to regret.

He was Samuel Zerei, a 21-year-old who last Friday was found guilty of murdering Zafer Eren - the leader of one of the most notorious gangs in London, the Tottenham Turks.

Markfield Park Zerei was shot in Markfield Park in Tottenham

He had been the getaway driver but was running away from his accomplice Jamie Marsh-Smith, an assassin hired by the Hackney Turks gang who had already killed Eren and was now attempting to kill Zerei because he feared he was going to "blab".

Start Quote

We did our human duty and helped him but we wouldn't do it again. Next time, I'd barricade the door and protect the children and home”

End Quote Rachel Bublil

After the Bublils closed the door, Marsh-Smith - known as Freddy after the character from the Nightmare on Elm Street films - also attempted to break in.

However, he left once the Bublils said they were on the phone to the police. Last week he was also jailed for life for murdering Mr Eren.

Opening the door to Zerei has had a massive impact on the Bublils' lives.

"Our house became the last crime scene and so we had police all over the place - it was no longer our home," said Mrs Bublil.

"There were puddles of blood on the floor which my children had to step over."

This alone meant two of her children, aged three and five, have subsequently had therapy.

line

Feud's violent, bloody past

  • The Tottenham Turks have been involved in a violent feud with another mainly Turkish gang, the Hackney Turks, since at least 2009
  • The feud's origins are uncertain, but appear to have come to a head after a fight in a club in January 2009 during which Kemal Armagan, a Hackney Turk, was badly beaten up
  • Since then, there have been numerous attempted murders, beatings, arson attacks and shootings
  • Ahmet Paytak was shot dead in March 2009 at a shop allegedly run by a Tottenham Turk member
  • Oktay Erbasli, a Tottenham Turk member, was shot and killed while driving a car hired by Kemal Eren in October 2009
  • Cem Duzgun, a Hackney Turk member, was shot dead later that month
  • Ali Armagan, a Hackney Turk, was shot dead at Turnpike Lane in February 2012
  • Kemal Eren, described in a previous court case as a Tottenham Turk, was shot and seriously injured in Elbistan, Turkey, in 2012
  • Zafer Eren was shot dead in Southgate in April 2013
464 line

In the initial aftermath, she said her neighbours, friends, school teachers and her husband's work colleagues all thought they had something to do with the gang. After all, they believed, why else would Zerei have run to their home?

Her children were no longer invited to birthday parties and she claims her husband's colleagues started to not trust him.

Yet the family did not have any gang involvement and were just unfortunate to live near a park where Marsh-Smith had tried to shoot Zerei.

As time has passed, the true impact of the incident has taken hold.

"Two of my children sleep in the same bed as me now, and one of us (herself or her husband) is always awake through the night," says Mrs Bublil.

All of them now take self-defence classes and her eldest child is no longer allowed to go anywhere without an adult.

Zafer Eren Zafer Eren was shot at seven times

Mrs Bublil said she was asked by the head teacher of her children's school to stand down as a governor while the case was going through the courts. Now that it has concluded she cannot still return, though, as elections are only held once every four years.

When the case came to trial, neither Mrs Bublil or her husband wanted to give evidence in court. They did not wish to come face-to-face with Zerei or Marsh-Smith again or to relive the nightmare.

Instead, they prepared a signed written statement which outlined everything from their perspective. They had letters from a doctor and a solicitor saying they were suffering from stress and not fit to attend court.

However, the judge insisted they should give evidence and issued an arrest warrant for them when they failed to attend court.

"The police's involvement is what shocked me the most," she said.

"We were very fragile and wanted them (the police) to leave us alone.

Jamie Marsh-Smith Jamie Marsh-Smith was nicknamed "Freddy" after the Nightmare on Elm Street character

"They were coming to our house on a daily basis, arriving at any time. They made our nanny let them in so that they could see if we were home.

"I felt they had gotten confused between the criminals and the witnesses."

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they attended the Bublils' home as a result of the warrant but said the couple were never arrested.

In the end the couple did give evidence, although the experience was unpleasant and they felt uncomfortable their address was often read out in court.

Mrs Bublil said she would have acted differently when Zerei knocked on her door if she knew then what she knew now.

"We did our human duty and helped him but we wouldn't do it again," she says.

"Next time, I'd barricade the door and protect the children and home. This has been like a shadow over ourselves.

"It's the people who see the murders who are the ones that need protection."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

24 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Footballer working as a waiter 16:12:

    Dagenham & Redbridge striker Adeoye Yusuff is still working as a waiter despite signing a professional deal with the League Two club last week.

    Adeoye Yusuff

    The 20-year-old said: "I am working some of my notice. I didn't want to just leave because I had the opportunity."

     
  2.  
    News on the hour 16:00:

    The lead story at 16:00: The number of people out of work fell by almost 150,000 in the three months to July to just over two million. It fell by 25,000 in London.

     
  3.  
    Your views 15:40:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  4.  
    Driver crashes outside Old Bailey 15:30:

    A taxi driver was seriously injured after crashing into cyclist and pedestrian outside the Old Bailey at about 19.15 last night, according to the Evening Standard.

     
  5.  
    Mobile phone raids charges 15:20:

    Six men and a woman from across London have been charged following raids last week in which more than 1,000 mobile phones were seized.

    Mobile phones seized during dawn raids across London

    They have been charged with offences including conspiracy to handle stolen goods and offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

     
  6.  
    Technology dedication 15:11:

    Three people have pitched their tent outside the Apple Store on Regent Street ahead of the release of the new iPhone 6 which goes on sale on Friday.

    Camping outside Apple
     
  7.  
    News on the hour 15:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The top London story at 15:00: Unemployment has fallen sharply with the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance dropping below one million for the first time in six years. In London there was a drop of 25,000.

     
  8.  
    Sub-machine gun recovered 14:50:

    A Scorpion sub-machine gun, a magazine of ammunition and a silencer were recovered during a search of a Penge property last night which the police carried out after finding the occupants of a car they had stopped strongly smelling of cannabis.

    Sub-machine gun

    Two men, aged 66 and 27 were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm. A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis and theft and another 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and money laundering.

     
  9.  
    Drogba could play tonight 14:43:

    Didier Drogba could feature for Chelsea in tonight's Champions League Group G opener against Schalke at Stamford Bridge after recovering from injury.

    Didier Drogba

    The striker missed Saturday's Premier League win against Swansea with an ankle problem but trained yesterday.

     
  10.  
    Jackson out for Wasps 14:33:

    BBC London's sports reporter Sara Orchard tweets: Bad news for @WaspsRugby fans. Ruaridh Jackson has an ACL tear and will require an operation on his knee- likely to be out 6-9 months

     
  11.  
    Custody death PC 'to be ordained' 14:18: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    PC Birks said the Met's decision to refuse to lift his suspension was infringing his human rights.

    The court heard the officer began the process of selection as a priest in 2009, before any "adverse" findings relating to his role in Mr Rigg's death and was due to take up the office of Curate in Portslade, Sussex. Hugh Davies QC, representing the officer, said it was a "unique" case.

     
  12.  
    Crash death toddler died of head injury 14:09:

    A two-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car in the Forty Lane Asda car park in Wembley died from a head injury a post-mortem examination has found.

    Asda in Wembley

    The girl was with her mother at the time of the collision last Friday. The female driver of the car - who was not the girl's mother - was not arrested.

     
  13.  
    News on the hour 14:00:

    The lead story at 14:00: Unemployment has fallen sharply with the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance dropping below one million for the first time in six years. In London there was a drop of 25,000.

     
  14.  
    Middlesex v Somerset NXT PLS 13:50: Kevin Hand BBC London 94.9 cricket reporter

    Middlesex have kept Somerset at bay with an extraordinary effort by their 8th wicket partnership on the third morning.

    Resuming on 64-7, in reply to the hosts 523-9, the visitors have advanced to 171-7 at the interval with Eoin Morgan on 74 and Toby Roland-Jones on 62.

    It still appears inevitable that relegation-threatened Middlesex will be following on at some point but today's efforts have at least given their batsman some hope of saving the game.

     
  15.  
    NYE fireworks to be ticketed 13:40: via Facebook

    There has been mixed reaction to the news that London's New Year's Eve fireworks display will be ticketed for the first time with each ticket now costing £10.

    On BBC London's Facebook page, Sean Barlow said: "As someone who has friends who work in the transport sector and emergency services, I can see both benefits and problems to this. Assaults have always traditionally gone up on New Year's Eve, so this could either be a way to bring them down (by people not trying to come to London when areas are already full) or it will increase as people still try to get into London, even though there are no spaces."

     
  16.  
    Galloway death threat 13:30:

    Scotland Yard is investigating a death threat aimed at the Respect MP George Galloway which was received in the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

    Respect MP George Galloway

    Mr Galloway says the threat was not connected to the Scottish independence debate.

     
  17.  
    Police custody death PC 'to be ordained' 13:21: Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    A court has heard that a policeman under investigation over a death in custody wants to leave his force to become a priest.

    Sean Rigg

    PC Andrew Birks was the senior officer involved in the arrest of Sean Rigg who died at Brixton police station in south London in 2008. He is due to be ordained in 11 days' time - but the Metropolitan Police has refused to allow him to leave and has suspended him, pending the inquiry.

     
  18.  
    BBC London News 13:09: Sonja Jessup Presenter, BBC London News

    On the Programme at 13:30 on BBC One: We'll be live at City Hall finding out why Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a £10 charge to see the fireworks on New Year's Eve.

    And a new study's found that London has the highest rate of child obesity - compared to ten major cities around the world.

     
  19.  
    News on the hour 13:00:

    The lead headline at 13:00: There's been a sharp fall in unemployment. The jobless total dropped by 146,000 between May and July to just over two million. It also fell by 25,000 in London.

     
  20.  
    Uber gets green light in Germany 12:51:

    A German judge has overturned a nationwide ban on one of the services offered by the alternative taxi firm Uber, after a temporary injunction prevented the start-up from offering its UberPop ride-sharing service in the country.

    Uber app with black cab in background

    Cab drivers in London previously launched a day of protests over Uber's services, which they claimed broke Transport for London rules.

     
  21.  
    Council job loss predictions 12:42:

    Up to 500 Croydon Council employees could lose their jobs as the authority faces cutting its spending by £93m in three years, the Croydon Guardian reports.

    The scale of predicted job losses emerged in the same week the council revealed it is expected to shell out almost £8m more than budgeted for between 2014/15.

     
  22.  
    NYE fireworks to be ticketed 12:31:

    Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, Caroline Pidgeon, has criticised Boris Johnson for ticketing London's New Year's Eve fireworks display which will now cost £10.

    Fireworks explode over London on 1 January 2014

    She said: "London's New Year Eve fireworks showcases the capital to the world and...must be accessible to everyone and that must mean it remains free. It would be a scandal if any families were denied access to the event due to the introduction of ticket prices."

     
  23.  
    On air 12:20: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On the Robert Elms show, Barbara Rochee talks about the Migration Museum's latest project Germans in Britain which explores the history of German migrants to Britain and sould band The Ephemerals play live.

    You can listen live on BBC London 94.9 and contact the team on 020 7224 2000.

     
  24.  
    Agent Fifi archive revealed 12:08:

    New wartime records released by the National Archives have revealed the existence of a glamorous female secret agent whose job was to see if other agents could keep their mouths shut.

    National Archives

    The files show that all too often Agent Fifi, as she was known, was able to get them to "spill the beans" and was employed to test out trainee agents in Britain before they were sent to occupied Europe in World War Two.

     
  25.  
    News on the hour 12:01:

    The lead headline at noon: A court has heard that PC Andrew Birks, the Met officer who is being investigated over the death of Sean Rigg in custody, wants to leave Scotland Yard and become a priest. Mr Rigg who died at Brixton police station in 2008.

     
  26.  
    'Epic shot' 11:55:

    Photographer Jason Hawkes tweets: A rather epic shot of @MPSinthesky yesterday over @cityoflondon #London.

    Aerial view of police helicopter
     
  27.  
    Video: Miss Saigon's 25th anniversary 11:44:

    Hit musical Miss Saigon, based on the opera Madame Butterfly, is celebrating its 25th anniversary year.

    Miss Saigon

    Lea Salonga and Eva Noblezada spoke to BBC Breakfast about their experience of playing Miss Saigon in the West End.

     
  28.  
    Mayor's Question Time 11:34:

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson is holding his monthly question session with assembly members which you can watch live here.

     
  29.  
    NYE fireworks to be ticketed 11:25: via Facebook

    News that London's New Year's Eve fireworks will cost £10 per ticket has got you all talking on the BBC London Facebook page.

    Matt Francis-burnett said: "I think this is a GOOD idea as it will limit the numbers to a respectable level and place less pressure on the transport and local area" but Jon Golding said "if its not about money why charge £10. Just do a free lucky dip of 100,000 names".

     
  30.  
    Boris not drawn on MP future 11:14: Tim Donovan Political Editor, BBC London

    Boris Johnson has refused to rule out standing for the Conservative leadership while still Mayor of London.

    At mayor's question time he was asked to clarify whether he would focus on the City Hall job until 2016, and during that time would not seek either a Cabinet job or the Conservative leadership, but Mr Johnson refused to speculate on "outrageous hypotheses", and said he was doing everything to help David Cameron saying "he's going to be PM in 2015 and beyond 2015".

     
  31.  
    News on the hour 11:04:

    The lead story at 11:00: The Chancellor George Osborne says today's unemployment figures mark another step towards full employment but there's still much more to do. In London the jobless total fell by 25,000 to just over 300,000 between May and July.

     
  32.  
    Airport expansion support 'increasing' 10:49:

    Support for airport expansion is increasing according to a survey by the travel organisation ABTA which found that as many as 41% of those polled agreed more airport capacity was needed - an increase of 5% on last year.

    The Davies Commission looking at expansion options is due to make its recommendation next Summer from three options: Building a third runway at Heathrow, constructing a second at Gatwick or lengthening the existing runway at Heathrow.

     
  33.  
    Feedback 10:39:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  34.  
    Super sewer issues 10:34:

    The government has been accused of approving London's controversial £4.2bn super-sewerwithout following "correct legal process", the Evening Standard reports.

    The Lee Tunnel which will connect to the Thames Tideway Tunnel

    Hammersmith and Fulham council leader Stephen Cowan claims a decision was taken months ago despite ministers officially needing to wait for a report which was published last week, and is threatening legal action. The government said it made the decision after "careful consideration".

     
  35.  
    Homecoming parade 10:20:

    Soldiers from the Coldstream Guards returning from Afghanistan will take part in a homecoming parade this morning.

    Coldstream Guards

    They will march from Wellington Barracks in Knightsbridge to the Guards Memorial at Horse Guards Parade.

     
  36.  
    Man stabbed on street 10:12:

    A 30-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed in Bounds Green in Haringey.

    Scotland Yard said it happened at the junction of Bounds Green Road and Brownlow Road shortly after midnight.

     
  37.  
    News on the hour 10:00:

    The lead headline at 10:00: Two problems on the Tube have caused disruption for thousands of commuters this morning. Over-running engineering work on the Central Line and the discovery of loose concrete above a Circle Line platform at King's Cross had led to severe delays and overcrowding.

     
  38.  
    Circle line resumes 09:57: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    The Circle Line has now resumed service, although there are severe delays.

     
  39.  
    NYE fireworks to be ticketed 09:46:

    People wanting to see this year's London New Year's Eve fireworks display will have to pay for the first time.

    London NYE fireworks

    London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that 100,000 tickets will be made available for £10 each. Last year about 500,000 people went to watch the display although some complained they couldn't see or it took many hours to get home.

     
  40.  
    Tube update 09:36: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London
    • Euston, Kings Cross and Bank stations have re-opened
    • Waterloo and City line now running
    • Hammersmith & City line has resumed with severe delays
    • The Metropolitan Line has resumed with severe delays between Baker St and Aldgate
    • There is no service on the Circle line
     
  41.  
    Euston station 'closed' 09:26:

    TfL Travel Alerts tweet: Euston station is closed to the @victorialine and @northernline due to a faulty escalator

     
  42.  
    'Huge taxi queues' 09:12:

    BBC London's Tom Edwards tweets: Huge queues Kings X taxi rank

    Kings Cross taxi queues
     
  43.  
    Loose concrete at Kings Cross 09:03:

    BBC London's transport correspondent Tom Edwards tweets: Tfl saying loose concrete at Kings X spotted during routine inspection. Hopeful of re-opening sometime this morning ...

     
  44.  
    News on the hour 08:59:

    The lead headline at 09:00: A 30-year-old man's in a critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed in north London.

     
  45.  
    Tube update 08:47:

    Work to remove loose concrete in the roof at Kings Cross station as caused disruption on the London Underground this morning.

    • Circle Line: Delays
    • Hammersmith and City Line: Suspended between Baker Street and Barking
    • Metropolitan Line: Suspended between Baker Street and Aldgate
     
  46.  
    Top headlines
     
  47.  
    Scottish referendum 08:37: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Vanessa Feltz will be talking about the Scottish referendum on the final day of campaigning with opinion polls still suggesting it will be a close vote.

    No Thanks and Yes signs in flat windows in Edinburgh

    What are your thoughts? You can listen live on BBC London 94.9 and contact the team on 020 7224 2000.

     
  48.  
    Central line delays 08:27:

    Central line tweets: Minor delays as a result of the service recovering from a late finish to engineering work.

     
  49.  
    Estate agent choc thief sacked 08:16:

    An estate agent was sacked after being caught on camera apparently stealing a bar of chocolate while showing a client around a flat.

    Secret footage of estate agent stealing chocolate

    The outgoing tenant of the flat in Walthamstow, east London, was testing the motion-activated camera, which he intended to use in his new home, and said the theft elt like "a complete betrayal".

     
  50.  
    Rail and road delays 08:11:

    The Greater Anglia train service is suspended between Liverpool St and Enfield Town/Cheshunt via Seven Sisters till 15:00 due to an operating incident.

    On the roads, police are directing traffic at Grosvenor Place in Victoria.

     
  51.  
    Grey start, sunny later 08:07:

    Today will have a grey start with low cloud and mist, but the cloud will gradually lift during the morning with long spells of sunshine expected throughout the afternoon. With only light easterly winds it will feel very warm with highs of 22C (72F).

     
  52.  
    Major Tube disruption 08:04: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    Work to remove loose concrete at King's Cross means there is no service at all on the Circle Line, while the Metropolitan Line is suspended between Baker Street and Aldgate, and the Hammersmith & City line is suspended between Baker Street and Barking.

    There are also severe delays on the Central Line.

    For the latest information go to our travel page or follow us on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel

     
  53.  
    08:00: Beth Rose BBC News Online

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.