Duo not guilty of murder of Daniel Herbert but guilty of GBH
PUBLISHED: 15:56 19 May 2011 | UPDATED: 17:00 19 May 2011
A mother of a night club promoter who was shot dead two years ago has spoken of her relief now that two men have been jailed in connection with the killing.
Today at the Old Bailey Michael Campbell, 25, of Jago Walk, Camberwell, and Bobby Winser, 22, of Eldridge Court, Rouel Road, Rotherhithe, were found guilty of Grevious Bodily Harm, but were found not guilty of his murder.
This comes after night-club promoter Daniel Herbert from Orpington, who grew up in Eltham and went to Blackheath Bluecoat School, was shot dead in Bermondsey, on August 17, 2009.
Daniel’s mother Androula Herbert, 48, said: “The death of my son has left me and my family devastated. I have lost a wonderful son and I will miss having him around everyday for the rest of my life. I miss our chats and our laughter. I miss our hugs.
“I miss him saying I love you mum. I miss the sound of his voice, which I worry that I am going to forget in time. My family and I will never get over this, but we will try to move on and cherish the time Daniel spent with us.
“The Herbert family cannot express enough our gratitude towards the police investigation team for all the hours of relentless work and dedication they have put in over the last 21 months. We are truly grateful.”
Co-defendants Darren Mitchell, 42, and Doreen Mitchell, 68, both from Brassey Parade, Eastbourne, Winser’s uncle and grandmother, were found guilty of assisting an offender – their nephew. Darren Mitchell had already pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at the start of the trial, having admitted lying to the police regarding his contact with Winser and Campbell soon after Daniel’s death.
Campbell, Winser and Darren Mitchell were remanded in custody while Doreen Mitchell was bailed until sentencing, which was deferred until a later date.
Background – the drug wars
The court heard how Winser and Campbell, with others, had been making money from the cultivation of cannabis and had used a room at Winser’s home in Eldridge Court in Bermondsey, to grow the plants.
They had been subjected to break-ins at the address where money, drugs and electrical items had been stolen. The thieves were from another group of local men who were also making money growing and selling herbal cannabis or ‘skunk’ as it is more commonly known. This group were friends and associates of Daniel Herbert.
Just before 2am on August 17, 2009, Daniel walked past Bobby Winser’s home.
Together with two others, Bobby Winser and Michael Campbell chased Daniel through the back streets of Bermondsey, finally catching him in Clements Road.
Daniel was pleading “Help me, help me” but the chasing pack repeatedly and ferociously punched, kicked and stamped on his head as he lay on the ground defenceless and overwhelmed by his attackers; described by an eye witness as “like a pack of wolves”.
Daniel’s semi conscious body was then pulled up from the ground by the scruff of his neck, a gun placed at the side of his head and he was shot at close range.
A passer-by in a car witnessed the beating Daniel suffered and had tried to intervene but fled in fear for her life after being threatened with a gun.
Police and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene and Daniel was taken to the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel where he died the next day.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head. It was recorded that Daniel’s head and brain injuries sustained in the attack could equally have resulted in his death, were he not shot.
The weapon was not found, but detectives believe it was originally a non-lethal weapon that had been converted to fire live ammunition.
The investigation pieced together the escalation of the drugs feud; identifying the defendants’ willingness to use violence to maintain control of their criminal gains. Bobby Winser sent a letter to a friend in prison explaining that his home had been broken into and that he and others were out in cars and vans driving around Bermondsey seeking revenge, likening it to the film ‘Football Factory’. He concluded that those responsible ‘knew not to come back for more’ and if they did, his group were ready to ‘go to war’ - a threat carried out in the attack on Daniel.
How police tracked them down
Straight after the attack, Winser and Campbell fled to Eastbourne in a grey Ford Focus, staying with Darren and Doreen Mitchell, who harboured them and attempted to give them an alibi. They were captured on CCTV leaving the scene of the crime and subsequently driving down the A21 via Hastings. Further CCTV showed them at a parade of shops in Brassey Parade, Eastbourne, where the Mitchells’ lived.
Whilst in Eastbourne, Winser confessed to his involvement. The Mitchells were a party to the admission, as was a friend of theirs from the Eastbourne area. Despite this, Darren and Doreen claimed neither men had been to their home.
Winser and Campbell are believed to have returned to London on August 18 2009. Acting on intelligence, officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command (HSCC) arrested Michael Campbell on August 26 and Winser the following day.
On June 2, 2010, Darren Mitchell and Doreen Mitchell were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Having initially told officers they had not seen Bobby Winser since Christmas 2008, it was established that Winser and Campbell had been at their home after the incident.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.