June 20 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 18, 2010
A GANGSTER rapper who boasted about guns in YouTube videos has been jailed for 11 years for shooting a passer-by in a random attack.
Aron Thomas, 23, pulled out a loaded 9mm handgun and fired eight rounds at terrified people in busy Buller Road, beside Hollywood Green, Wood Green.
At one stage he took aim at a group of youths desperately running for cover, while witnesses hearing him repeatedly shout “F*** Wood Green” and “F*** you all Wood Green,” the Old Bailey heard.
One bullet hit random victim Lloyd Wisdom in the lower leg as he walked back to his car.
He needed surgery to remove part of the bullet from his leg and remained in hospital for two days.
Miraculously, no-one else was injured during the shooting at 12.30am on February 28 this year, but “people ran literally for their lives”.
Thomas, who raps under the name Vipex and has previously worked as a volunteer with Arsenal FC, is said to have wanted revenge out of a “misguided sense of loyalty to family and friends” after his brother got in to trouble in the area.
Terrified passers-by cowered behind bins, others ran for cover and one group fled in to the kitchens of a nearby kebab shop to escape the gunfire.
“There were many people in the moving line of fire of this defendant,” said prosecutor Adrian Darbishire.
Thomas was captured on CCTV holding the handgun above his head, wearing black gloves and a distinctive red and white tracksuit.
Mr Darbishire continued: “It is not alleged by the prosecution he had any particular target in mind, that there was any individual at whom he was aiming.”
He said Thomas’s actions were “really only consistent with him trying to make some kind of statement to the area of Wood Green, presumably connected with some kind of gang dispute.”
Mr Darbishire pointed to a video clip on YouTube, where Thomas raps: “I bust my gun quick like premature ejaculation. I back out my ting and start a quick evacuation. Your lung get punctured quick, I leave you slumped and stiff.”
Mr Darbishire said that Thomas “intended to create danger and been indifferent to the possibility that death would have been the result”.
Thomas was arrested a week later and was due to face trial last month for attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to causing grievous harm with intent and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
He has previous convictions for kidnapping, attempted robbery and affray.
Adrienne Knight, defending, said Thomas was “petrified of the consequences of his actions” and submitted a large number of character witnesses, arguing they proved “he isn’t all bad and there is hope for him”.
The Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont QC told him: “You took the law in to your own hands to settle a quarrel that wasn’t yours. It had nothing to do with you.”
Thomas, of Bramall Court, Georges Road, Holloway, was given six years for wounding with intent and five years consecutively for the firearms charge.