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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Teenager guilty of man's murder
Bradley Tucker
Tucker said he only meant to scare Mr Woodhams

A teenager has been found guilty of murdering a man outside his home in front of his young family.

Bradley Tucker, 18, shot Peter Woodhams in Canning Town, east London, last year in the "final chapter" of a bullying campaign, the Old Bailey heard.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of murdering 22-year-old Mr Woodhams.

Tucker, of Canning Town, had denied murder in the Old Bailey trial and said he only meant to scare his victim.

Mr Woodhams's fiancee Jane Bowden burst into tears as the verdict was read out in court.

The shooting, in August 2006, came seven months after another incident when Mr Woodhams was stabbed in the neck and slashed across the face.

A group of youths had tormented Mr Woodhams since the stabbing and he had told police: "This has had a dramatic effect on my life. I can't go out any more because I am scared."

Mr Woodhams' father, also called Peter, said "something should have been done" earlier.

"If it was done, to my mind, I believe there is a very good chance that he would have still been here," he said.

Peter Woodhams with son Sam
Mr Woodhams's son Sam "still believes his father is coming back"

Nine police officers are now facing a misconduct inquiry after claims they did not carry out a detailed enough investigation into the incident.

Ms Bowden had said she had phoned the police every day for five weeks following the first attack, but police had never taken a statement.

The police handling of the stabbing incident is currently being examined by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

At the Old Bailey Tucker said he believed the gun he fired would only "go bang".

He said he was on his mobile phone when he saw an angry Mr Woodhams coming towards him swearing.

"I put my phone in my pocket and pulled out the gun and started shooting," he told the court.

He said he fired the weapon "to scare him, make him go in the other direction", but then noticed the blood on his chest.

Peter had no opportunity to defend himself in the face of a man who had complete disregard for his life
Det Ch Insp Ian Stevenson

Ms Bowden said in a statement the couple's son Sam had become convinced his father was a star in heaven and thought his father was looking down on him.

"He still believes his father is coming back," she said.

Det Ch Insp Ian Stevenson, who led the murder investigation, said: "Peter had no opportunity to defend himself in the face of a man who had complete disregard for his life as he was prepared to use a gun.

"My thoughts and those of my team remain with Peter's family and many friends at this very difficult time, who regardless of this result, have lost a loved-one and will have to live with this devastating consequence of gun crime."

Tucker will be sentenced at a later date.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Woodhams family statement after the trial verdict



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