Canonbury father begs for help to trace son’s killers

Joseph Burke-Monerville

Joseph Burke-Monerville - Credit: Archant

The father of Joseph Burke-Monerville – who was shot in the head by a masked and hooded gunman three years ago – has begged for help tracking his killer, as police offered a £30,000 reward for help solving the case.

Joseph Burke-Monerville

Joseph Burke-Monerville - Credit: Archant

CCTV footage of the moment the 19-year-old was killed – as he sat in a car in Hindrey Road, Clapton on February 16, 2013, with his twin brother Jonathan and elder brother David – was played at an inquest into his death this week.

The teenager, a member of the Nigerian royal family, lived in Canonbury Square.

Security was ramped up at St Pancras Coroner’s Court and 15 police officers drafted in as one former gang member, granted anonymity under the pseudonym Peter Brooks, gave evidence against the three men who had been due to stand trial for Joseph’s murder last May – who were also called to give evidence.

Shahed Nowaz, 20, Roshane Reid, 22, and Scott Andrews, 28, were acquitted when defence lawyers argued the case was bound to fail because it relied on the evidence of just one gang member.

“Mr Brooks” claims Joseph was mistakenly shot in a gangland tit-for-tat dispute after the A-Road gang held the Pembury Boys responsible for shooting one of their members on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Brooks told the inquest how Andrews had ordered the hit, Reid was the gunman, and Nowaz his accomplice.

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All three men deny his claims and Nowaz called him a “liar”.

Joseph Burke-Monerville

Joseph Burke-Monerville - Credit: Archant

David broke down in court as he recounted the moment his brother was shot after the accomplice said “light them up”, and how he is haunted by the killer’s eyes.

His father John Burke-Monerville described how they “never imagined” he would lose a second son. Joseph’s older brother Trevor Monerville was stabbed by five men in 1994 aged 26. No one was ever convicted of his murder either.

“My wife up until this day has been in torment – I have only seen her once since his death,” said Mr Burke-Monerville.

“Once is painful enough but twice to have lost such precious children – young children, children who passed away before you – you cannot believe. We are in torment. We are in pain. We are begging for the truth. We need help. We are crying for help.”

Coroner Mary Hassell concluded Joseph was “killed unlawfully”.

‘No parent could ask for better’

Joseph’s father John described how his son was a “kind and loving young man”.

The family had sent him and his twin brother Jonathan to Nigeria to study for five years to “get them away from problems”.

“They had only returned to London to study forensics at university six months before the shooting.

He said: “We would struggle and send money for school fees. They would take their money to clothe and feed and pay for other children’s school fees. I was mad when they asked me to find more money, but when I realised the kindness, I realised I had two treasures.

“Joseph was his brother’s keeper. He used to be fair with his brother. He would say: ‘Today I will decide this, tomorrow you will decide that.’ No parent could ask for better.”