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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 14:11 GMT
'Laughing gunmen' shot policeman
Pc Patrick Dunne
Patrick Dunne was in full uniform when he was shot
A gang shot and killed a lone policeman after murdering a nightclub bouncer, a court has heard.

Pc Patrick Dunne was killed by a single bullet as he went to investigate gunshots in Clapham, south London, in October 1993.

London's Woolwich Crown Court heard his killers burst out laughing. The body of doorman William Danso was discovered shortly afterwards.

Gary Nelson, 36, from Woolwich, denies murdering both men.

Bike-riding Pc Dunne, 44, had only been in the force three years. He had previously been a maths teacher.

He was dealing with a minor domestic dispute when Mr Danso was shot dead at the house opposite.

As Pc Dunne stepped outside the front door to investigate, he was shot in the chest and probably died instantly.

The three assassins ran off... and they laughed loudly as they left
Richard Horwell, prosecutor

"There can be no doubt that the gunman must have identified Pc Dunne as a police officer," said Mr Horwell.

"He was wearing his uniform and reflective yellow top and the intruder opposite raised his hand in which he held a firearm.

"He pointed it in the direction of No 28 and Pc Dunne shouted: 'Get in! get in!"'

"Mr Ceria and Mr Leon turned to go back into No 28. The gunman opened fire and he shot Pc Dunne who fell to the ground and the three assassins ran off ... and they laughed loudly as they left."

William Danso
Mr Danso was shot several times in his own home

Later the body of 31-year-old father of four Mr Danso was found in a house opposite.

The bouncer was murdered for not showing "sufficient respect to the defendant", said prosecutor Richard Horwell.

He thought Mr Nelson disliked him after being turned away from the Academy Club in Brixton, where Mr Danso was a doorman, the court heard.

Hours before he was shot, Mr Danso had intervened in a row involving Mr Nelson at the electrical shop where he worked as a part-time security guard, jurors were told.

Murder file reopened

Later a friend of Mr Nelson's called the shop's owner to ask for Mr Danso's address.

Mr Horwell told jurors: "You are entitled to consider what that telephone conversation reveals.

"Why the interest? Was this inquiry a coincidence or is it in fact connected to the events that were soon to follow?"

That night, three men shot Mr Danso, as he sat watching football with a friend at his house in Cato Road, Clapham.

The court heard that Mr Nelson had first been arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Danso five weeks after the shooting, but there had been insufficient evidence and proceedings were halted.

The trial continues.


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