Birmingham & Black Country

Gang member guilty of murder outside snooker club

Tafarwa Beckford Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Tafarwa Beckford was tried three times for the murder of Derek Myers

A man with a "notorious history of gang violence" has been convicted of murdering a man in a revenge shooting outside a Birmingham snooker club.

Tafarwa Beckford, 36, fired two shots at Derek Myers, 25, after a "hostile interaction" between two groups of men in Hockley on 30 October 2015.

The city's crown court heard Beckford carried out the attack after his friend Marvin Duffus was targeted outside the Big Bang snooker club in Soho Hill.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

The jury was not told that Beckford, who was also known as "Dreads" and "Charmer" and is the stepbrother of singer Jamelia, had twice previously stood trial for separate gang-related killings.

'Brewing argument'

He was accused of the murders of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare, who were shot outside a hairdressing salon in Aston on New Year's Day of 2003, but was acquitted in 2005 because of a lack of evidence.

Beckford was also acquitted of the murder of Christopher Clarke who was stabbed and beaten with champagne bottles in a Birmingham nightclub in March 2000. He was convicted instead of the lesser charge of affray, for which he received a 30-month sentence.

Beckford, of Duchess Road, Ladywood, was allowed to use his middle name of Theodore at his trial, after his defence lawyers argued his reputation may prejudice proceedings.

This is the third time he has stood trial for the murder of Mr Myers after juries in November 2016 and April 2018 failed to reach verdicts.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Derek Myers was shot in the street

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC had told the trial of a "brewing argument" outside the snooker club, at about 04:30 GMT, which turned physical.

Mr Duffus was attacked and stabbed before being shot five times, Ms Darlow said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The fatal attack happened outside the Big Bang snooker club in Soho Hill

The jury heard that six men were seen walking away from Mr Duffus as he lay seriously injured on the pavement.

Beckford was seen following the group, before shooting Mr Myers.

After the hearing Det Ch Sup Mark Payne said: "Beckford is a dangerous man with a notorious history of involvement in gang violence who we suspect is linked to other shootings. He is now a convicted killer… and he's looking at spending upwards of 30 years behind bars."

In 2004, Jamelia's half brother Kairo Beckford was jailed for life for the murder of Daniel Bogle, who was shot in a drive-by shooting in August 2003.

Update 17 December 2018: This story has been amended to remove reference to the singer Jamelia from the headline and first paragraph.

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