Wembley shop worker shot dead in 'mistaken identity' gang rivalry

Kwasi Mensah-Ababio Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Kwasi Mensah-Ababio was found with fatal head injuries in parkland on 7 July

A shop worker was shot dead in a London park in a "tragic" case of mistaken identity, a court has heard.

Kwasi Mensah-Ababio was found with head injuries in Monks Park, Wembley, shortly after 19:00 BST on 7 July.

The 26-year-old was "simply in the wrong place at the wrong time" as he sat on a park bench when four men approached him, jurors heard.

Rene Montaque, 34, Taalib Rowe, 24, Karlos Gracia, 22, and Alhassan Jalloh, 21, all from Wembley, deny murder.

"The group of men confronted him, mistakenly believing him to be someone else," prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said.

"He was shot from close range in the head. He died at the scene.

'Gang hostilities'

"What they did, who had the gun and who shot Mr Mensah-Ababio will be for you to decide," she told jurors at the Old Bailey.

The court heard of "hostilities" between two groups local to the Wembley area and that Mr Mensah-Ababio was mistaken for a senior member of the "St Raphs" group called Darren Buchanan.

"Tragically for Mr Mensah-Ababio he bore a striking resemblance to Darren Buchanan, who was also known as Pacman," Ms Morgan said.

The St Raphs group was believed to be responsible for the murder of Craig Small who belonged to a rival group in Stonebridge, north west London, it is claimed.

Mr Small was shot and killed on 5 July 2019 on Harrow Road, close to Monks Park.

"The [group] believed they were exacting revenge but, as it transpired, they had mistaken Mr Mensah-Ababio for someone else," Ms Morgan said.

The trial continues.

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