'Wrong place, wrong time': Men convicted after fatal mistaken revenge shooting

A bullet casing found at the scene

A bullet casing found at the scene - Credit: Metropolitan Police

A group of men have been convicted after a young man was fatally shot in broad daylight near an Islington children's playground. 

Demetrios Kyriacou, 35, of Liverpool Road in Islington, was found guilty of the murder of 22-year-old Imani Allaway-Muir following an 11-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Demetrios Kyriacou, 35, of Liverpool Road in Islington

Demetrios Kyriacou, 35, of Liverpool Road in Islington, was found guilty of the murder of 22-year-old Imani Allaway-Muir following an 11-week trial at the Old Bailey - Credit: Metropolitan Police

The shooting was carried out in revenge for a robbery mistakenly believed to have been committed by the victim.

James Nicholson, 36, of no fixed address, Matthew Hardy, 35, of Six Acres Estate in Islington, and Darren Dredge, 40, of no fixed address, were all found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Matthew Hardy, 35, of Six Acres Estate in Islington

Matthew Hardy, 35, of Six Acres Estate in Islington - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Nathaniel Reece, 41, of Southgate Road, Islington

Nathaniel Reece, 41, of Southgate Road, Islington - Credit: Metropolitan Police

The man who fired the gun, Nathaniel Reece, 41, of Southgate Road, Islington, pleaded guilty to murder on day two of the trial.

Three other men were found not guilty of all charges.

The court head how Kyriacou suffered head injuries after he was robbed by four unknown men on Carville Street, on July 4, 2020.  

Darren Dredge, 40, of no fixed address

Darren Dredge, 40, of no fixed address - Credit: Metropolitan Police

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The suspects drove off in a black BMW with stolen items including an iPhone, Rolex watch and cash. 

Officers later attended the scene and spoke to Kyriacou who was with his blue Range Rover.

He told police that he believed the suspects had a knife, that he did not know them and did not wish to speak further about the incident.

James Nicholson, 36, of no fixed address

James Nicholson, 36, of no fixed address - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Following the robbery however, arrangements were made for the defendants to meet at Hardy’s home on Six Acres Estate in Islington, where Kyriacou was living at the time.

The defendants then sought to locate the robbers using the Find My iPhone app.

Once they had a location the men drove to the area of the shooting, collecting a loaded firearm en-route.

Kyriacou and Reece arrived at around 3.20pm.

They exited Kyriacou’s blue Range Rover on Faraday Close and went down an alleyway.

Reece shot Imani multiple times on Roman Way and the two men ran back to the Range Rover. The defendants fled the scene in multiple vehicles. 

Victim Imani Allaway-Muir was fatally shot on Roman Way in July 2020

Victim Imani Allaway-Muir was fatally shot on Roman Way in July 2020 - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Nicholson later collected the gun from Reece and disposed of it. Police were not able to find the weapon.

Emergency services attended and found Imani - around 20 metres from the scene of the shooting - in a children’s playground unconscious and breathing.

Imani was pronounced dead at 3.49pm, half an hour after he had been shot.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had four bullet wounds to his body.

Officers searched the area of the shooting and found 14 bullet casings as well as an iPhone, two Nokia mobile phones and a snapped SIM card.

The phones and the SIM card were some of the stolen items belonging to Kyriacou. 

A black BMW was also recovered by police at the scene, revealed to be the same one used by the suspects in the earlier robbery.

Detectives established that Imani was not involved in the robbery of Kyriacou.

He had arrived at the location where he was shot moments before Kyriacou and Reece appeared. 

An image of a firearm, found on Kyriacou's phone

An image of a firearm, found on Kyriacou's phone - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Although Reece fired the fatal shots, the court head that the other defendants were all jointly responsible for Imani's death.

Kyriacou, Reece, Hardy and Dredge were all arrested in July 2020 shortly after the murder, while Nicholson was arrested in February 2021.

The defendants will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on a date to be determined. 

Det Ch Insp Neil John said Imani was in "the wrong place at the wrong time". 

"He was tragically killed in a horrific act of violence."