Ipswich: Inquest Held Into Zest Murder

20 August 2013, 12:06

A 24-year-old man with no links to gang culture was shot dead outside a nightclub in Suffolk, an inquest has heard.

Jimoh Plunkett, from New Cross Road, London, was found dead outside Zest nightclub in Ipswich, in the early hours of December 9, 2006.

An inquest in Ipswich heard that despite an investigation lasting more than six years and a number of arrests, police have not been able to solve the crime due to the culture of silence surrounding London gangs.

Giving evidence, Detective Inspector Trevor Prior said about 800 people had been at a house music event that night. The majority were from London and a number of rival groups had been "trying to assert their presence''.

He added: "Witnesses said the atmosphere was hostile and oppressive.''

One group arrived at about 1.30am and were seen fighting in the club.

They later left and witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and seeing flashes.

Mr Plunkett was found slumped and bleeding about 50 metres away and three of his friends had suffered gunshot wounds.

He died at Ipswich Hospital later that morning and a post-mortem examination found he had not been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police said at the time that they did not believe Mr Plunkett had been the intended target.

Over the years that followed detectives arrested 18 people but none has been charged with any offence.

Errol Davis, 24, one of the prime suspects arrested by Suffolk Police in 2007, was shot dead in London in 2008.

Mr Prior said: "Our investigation found Mr Plunkett was not associated with gang culture and was a happy and popular man.

"The police investigation has been extensive and we are still looking to find the group responsible.

"The fact that the majority of the people involved were from London and the nature of gang crime has made that investigation complicated.''

Suffolk coroner Peter Dean recorded a verdict of unlawful killing and urged witnesses to come forward.

He added: "I would extend my sympathies to the family and anyone affected by Mr Plunkett's death.

"I would strongly encourage anyone with information about this killing to contact police and help them solve this crime after all these years.''