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Fresh appeal following murder of Marvin Couson

News   •   Nov 17, 2016 06:30 GMT

[Image of Marvin Couson in hospital]

Detectives investigating the murder of Marvin Couson, who died 13 years after he was shot in Shoreditch, have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses and information to mark his 41st birthday.

Marvin died on Saturday, 8 August 2015 having been confined to a hospital bed unable to communicate or do anything for himself since he was shot at the Lime in London Bar - commonly known as the Lime Bar - in Curtain Road, Shoreditch, in May 2002.

Last week he would have turned 41. A £40,000 reward remains on offer to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for Marvin's death.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This is a tragic case. Marvin's family visited him every single day in hospital for 13 years before his death and they still don't know who shot him or why.

"We have followed up every call received in the incident room. There have been some significant calls and it’s fair to say that even the criminal fraternity are angered by what happened to Marvin.

"Marvin was not involved in gangs or crime but clearly those who killed him and were in possession of firearms that night had a criminal background. In such murders we hear that there is a code and you don’t speak out; if that is your thinking, please take a look at the pictures of Marvin suffering and consider the years of distress his mother has endured and continues to endure. You could hold the key to unlocking this investigation.

"We continue to appeal for witnesses and information. The incident was many years ago but it would certainly stick in your mind if you were in the Lime Bar that night and were one of those who fled in panic as shots were fired inside the venue.

"A lot of time has passed and loyalties change so I hope for the sake of Marvin's family - and his two children who are now teenagers - that someone can find it within themselves to do the right thing. A large reward is on offer and we hope this will also encourage people to contact us.

"If you have information, not matter how small and irrelevant you may think it is, please come forward. You can speak in confidence to my investigation team or contact Crimestoppers anonymously."

Marvin's mum Emily and sister Margaret said: "Another birthday for Marvin with him not being with us. It is very difficult to accept he is no longer here; we as a family cannot accept this reality.

"Marvellous Marvin was very much loved by us all, not seeing him does not change this - we remember him and how he was before he was shot and left with hypoxic brain injury. We remember him always wanting to celebrate with others his birthdays and their birthdays, and how much he valued family and friends.

"The pain of reliving the years, months and days at Marvin's hospital bedside watching him suffer in excruciating pain never goes away from our minds as we ask the question why has this happened? How can it be that the person responsible for this horrific crime is still living without a care in the world? How can it be that they are not remembering and reliving the horrific event that caused Marvin to lose his life?

"Until the individual responsible for the murder of our dear brother, father and son is found we will not find any peace. No explanation will ever be acceptable for us as a family that this individual continues to live their life a free person. Until they are in police custody we will not stop our plea for justice and continued investigation into his murder.

"Marvin, may your wonderful soul rest in peace always. Amen."

Officers were called at 03:40hrs on Saturday, 12 May 2002 to reports of gunfire at the bar.

On arrival officers found Marvin, then aged 26 and of Darlington Road, West Norwood, on the ground outside the bar with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition with injuries to his heart and other internal organs.

After an operation he was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney. He was unable to care for himself or leave his hospital bed. He could not communicate and had no capacity to understand anything said to him.

Police were informed by the hospital that he died at 22:40hrs on 8 August 2015. A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as brain injury suffered as a direct result of the shooting.

Marvin, who worked fitting security systems for retailers, had visited the Lime Bar with his cousin and a friend for a garage and hip-hop music night called "Ouch". In the early hours of 12 May 2002 they fled, along with a large number of other people, after shots were fired inside the bar.

Outside Marvin's friend saw a T-reg red or burgundy Ford Fiesta, thought to contain at least two black men, driving fast along Curtain Road. The vehicle struck him and he grappled with the front seat passenger.

A gun was then fired and the friend walked back towards the bar to see Marvin lying shot on the ground. Marvin was shot outside the bar, but it is unclear if the shot came from the Fiesta.

Trident officers took on the case and made several appeals for witnesses and information. Around 600 people were at the venue at the time for a commercial party and 200-300 of them congregated in the street after shots were fired inside the club.

One man was arrested during the course of the investigation, on 23 May 2002, but subsequently released with no further action.

Detectives are still keen to trace the occupants of the burgundy Ford Fiesta to understand the full extent of their involvement.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

+ The Lime in London bar no longer exists - it is now the Queen of Hoxton pub