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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Tough case to crack
So Solid Crew
The violence occurred after a So Solid Crew gig
When police investigating the death of Marcus Hall came to the estate where he lived in south London they were met with a "wall of silence".

His friends in Peckham were reluctant to talk to a police force which they regarded with deep suspicion.

But his family, and particularly his mother Icelyn Wilson, worked hard to encourage witnesses to come forward and say what they had seen in the early hours of 21 March 2001.

The police inquiry
37,000 man hours
1,400 names
577 statements
1,484 hours of interviews
Finally, after 37,000 hours of detective work, the police had enough to make arrests and on Thursday six men were jailed for the murder.

At about 0200 on 21 March 2001 Marcus Hall was in the vicinity of the Atmosphere nightclub in Luton, Bedfordshire - where the controversial band So Solid Crew had been playing - and bought some food at a fast food shop.

Marcus Hall
Marcus Hall...attacked with hammer, bats and a knife
A fight broke out between Marcus and his friends and another group, most of whom came from Luton.

The 18-year-old IT student armed himself with a baseball bat.

Trivial spark

The spark for the brawl is not known but it was almost certainly something trivial.

But the violence spiralled out of control.

Marcus, waving the baseball bat, and his friends chased the other group but one of them, Errol O'Flaherty, grabbed a cricket bat out of his car, turned and confronted his pursuers.


The officers investigating this case have been forced to work in most difficult circumstances and faced much hostility from members of the south London community.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Garwood
Suddenly the balance of power changed.

The baseball bat was grabbed off Marcus and Mitchell Toussaint, armed with a claw hammer, began hitting him as Marlon Mason held back his friend Cedric Mukendi.

Cedric finally broke free and tried to rescue Marcus but he was struck on the shoulder.

Marcus's friends ran off as he lay on the ground being repeatedly beaten with his own baseball bat.

Caught on CCTV

The final horrific scenes were caught on CCTV.

Kimani Vassell kicked Marcus three or four times in the face and then stamped on his head.

Leon Licorish kicked him in the body and Mason stabbed him in the hand.

Adebayo Ekun, wanted by Bedforshire Police
Police still want to speak to Adebayo Ekun
Finally the gang ran off, throwing their weapons over fences into the grounds of a wine bar.

Police officers arrived at 0226 and found Marcus's prone body, punctured with nine stab wounds, three of which had penetrated his lungs.

He was taken to the nearby Luton and Dunstable Hospital but died at 0420 without regaining consciousness.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Garwood said: "The officers investigating this case have been forced to work in most difficult circumstances and faced much hostility from members of the south London community.

"But that hostility has gradually turned into overwhelming support and determination to bring Marcus's killers to justice."

'Bravery and determination'

He said: "Bedfordshire Police worked hard to build bridges. Icelyn Wilson, myself and several other officers have become good friends since this inquiry began and she in turn has supported us and attended court every day for the trial.

"Because of Icelyn's bravery and determination to bring Marcus's killers to justice our job has been made that much easier."

Two men wanted by police in connection with that night's evidence - Adebayo Ekun and Kevin Monte - remain at large.

The Atmosphere nightclub no longer exists.


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04 Jul 02 | England
16 Jun 02 | UK
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