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Man found guilty of Gary Johnson murder outside Ministry of Sound

London SE1 website team

Two men caught in a vicious feud outside the Ministry of Sound have been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murder and attempted murder.

Man found guilty of Gary Johnson murder outside Ministry of Sound
Police at the scene outside Ministry of Sound on 31 August 2009
Victim: Gary Johnson
Victim: Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson, 25, was run over and killed outside the Ministry of Sound nightclub on 31 August 2009.

30-year-old Ranjit Nankani of Croydon has been found guilty of his murder after he drove his vehicle at speed, hitting Gary and killing him instantly.

Another man, Dwayne McPherson, 28, of Sydenham Park who was also caught up in the feud and fired his gun at the car which killed Gary, has been found guilty for the attempted murder of Ranjit Nankani.

McPherson and Nankani, despite being involved on opposite sides of the feud, have both been tried at the same time. These unusual circumstances have meant that both men have been on trial in the same court room.

The argument between the men began on Sunday 30 August 2009, when Ranjit Nankani and two friends went to the Ministry of Sound nightclub in Gaunt Street at Elephant & Caslte.

Nankani drove to the club in his Mitsubishi Shogun and arrived at the club at about midnight.

On the same evening Gary Johnson was also in the Ministry of Sound nightclub with two friends, one of whom was Dwayne McPherson. During the course of the evening Nankani became involved in an argument with Gary Johnson and his friends after he stood on one of their feet. The argument escalated and security staff intervened to remove both parties from the club.

Once outside, the argument took a violent turn as Nankani got into his car with his two friends and drove the Mitsubishi Shogun, mounting the pavement and accelerating at high speed, towards McPherson and Gary Johnson. McPherson managed to get out of the way of the speeding car, however Gary Johnson was hit and died instantly from serious head injuries.

Nankani continued driving and collided with a parked car.

McPherson then fired four shots at close range into the car, hitting Nankani in the shoulder. Nankani's two friends were uninjured. They all got out of the car and left the scene separately.

Later that night, at approximately 4.40am, the injured Nankani approached two police officers in the New Kent Road and told them he had been shot. He was then taken to hospital, where officers linked his injuries to the earlier incident at the Ministry of Sound and the death of Gary Johnson.

An investigation was led by officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command (HSCC), and Nankani was arrested for the murder of Gary Johnson on 1 September 2009. Dwayne McPherson was arrested on 10 September 2009 for the attempted murder of Ranjit Nankani.

"It is hard to believe that these men, who came out to enjoy an evening with their friends, managed to turn the evening into such a violent and tragic sequence of events," says Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dunne.

"There were large amounts of people outside the club at the time that witnessed the horrific death of Gary Johnson and they must have been terrified to hear and see the gun shots.

"Due to a petty argument, these men made choices that have changed their lives forever and a man has tragically lost his life. Today's verdict is a result of a tireless investigation and assistance of some very brave witnesses who have helped us find justice for Gary Johnson's family."

Nankani will be sentenced on Monday 16 August and McPherson, who was also convicted of possession of a firearm, will be sentenced on 10 September.

The CCTV clip above shows the Mitsubishi Shogun that Nankani was driving on the pavement and accelerating at high speed towards McPherson and Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is on the left wearing all white and Dwayne McPherson is on the right and wearing dark clothing. It then cuts to the vehicle colliding with a parked car. A number of members of the public rush towards the car and then run away as McPherson fires shots at the vehicle.

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