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Walthamstow shooting: Three guilty of ‘mistaken identity’ murder

Joseph Williams-Torres

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Metropolitan Police

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Joseph Williams-Torres died after being shot on the evening of 14 March 2018

Three people have been found guilty of murdering a man who was shot dead as he sat in a van in north-east London.

Joseph Williams-Torres was sitting with a friend when he was attacked in Walthamstow on 14 March 2018.

The Old Bailey heard the 20-year-old had been killed “by mistake” as part of a turf war between rival youths.

Hamza Ul Haq, 21, of Manor Park, Loic Nengese, 19, of Walthamstow and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified, were all found guilty of murder.

The jury was told Mr William-Torres was “targeted” by three hooded youths, who shot him in the chest and legs while he sat in the vehicle.

The attack had been part of a series of “retaliatory” acts of violence between rival gangs, with the three defendants all being associated with a group known as the Mali Boys, the court heard.

‘Mistaken identity’

The Old Bailey was told they had set out for revenge after Ul Haq was squirted with acid in November 2017, while another boy from the group had been stabbed by masked males in Walthamstow.

Prosecutor Allison Hunter QC said Mr William-Torres’ killing was “undoubtedly a ruthless and planned attack on a rival group member” but the defendants had “mistakenly identified” the victim for another man.

The intended target was the same height and build as Mr Williams-Torres and even wore the same beanie hat, the court was told.

The three defendants had all denied murder.

Ul Haq and Nengese claimed they were not the figures captured on CCTV which showed the murder.

The 16-year-old admitted being at the scene but failed to say who he was there with. He also said he thought the attack was going to be a robbery.

After being found guilty, all three males were remanded in custody to be sentenced on 10 January.

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