Four men suspected of gunning down Jordon Jackson, 20, and his girlfriend Leyla Djemal-Northcott, 21, in their Upper Norwood flat in March 2006, walked free from court yesterday after eyewitness evidence was deemed invalid by judges.
Identical twins Leon and Lee Russell, 29, from Brixton; Michael Ennis-Simpson, 25, from Brixton; Shaun Sutton, 36, from South Norwood; were due to go on trial at Woolwich Crown Court on 13 November but the case collapsed after Mr Justice Fulford ruled the photo identification between the twin brothers to be ‘fatally flawed’.
After an unsuccessful appeal against the ruling by the CPS at the High Court, all four men have now been cleared of all charges.
The Brutal Story of the Couple’s Murder
This story is not for the faint hearted!
It is believed that two men wearing ski masks, allegedly Leon Russell and Shaun Sutton, knocked on the couples door at 6.40am on 7 March 2006.
After opening the door Jordon was blasted by a pump action shotgun which killed him instantly. The alleged attackers, Leon Russell and Sutton, supposedly then rampaged through the flat shooting Jordon’s brother Keiran in the back (he survived) and shooting Jordon’s girlfriend Leyla in the head as she lay in bed.
Apparently the hit was intended for the Jackson brothers after drug dealer Ennis-Simpson was robbed of £5,000 in cash. It is also believed that Lee Russell acted as a lookout as brother Leon and fellow shooter Sutton made the hit, suspected of attempting to kill all those in the flat.
Now here’s where it all fell down.
Leon Russell (pictured above) was later picked out on an identity parade as one of the two gunmen by Jordon’s brother Kieran. However, Kieran admitted he only saw part of their faces because they were wearing masks.
But because the police used pictures of both Leon and his twin Lee as part of the identity parade procedure this evidence could not be used. Judge, Mr Fulford said it would be unfair as it would be difficult to distinguish between the two.
O.K sounds fair enough, but interestingly Joint Enterprise could not be used as the crime took place before it came to law.
The family of the murdered couple are distraught by the judge’s decision and express how dearly Jordan and Leyla are missed.
Leyla’s mum, Christine Djemal, said:
Leyla has not had the opportunity to finish college, get married, have children. She is deeply missed by her family who still find it hard to come to terms with her sudden and violent death
Similarly, Jordan’s mum said:
Jordan is sorely missed. Due to his untimely death he has missed the birth of his brother son and he never got to see his baby sister’s first day at school. He was a caring, considerate and loving son, brother and uncle and a joy to be around. He is missed dearly and his murder has destroyed our family
All four men continue to deny two counts of murder and attempted murder.
For the time being this case will now remain unsolved.