Kai McGinley’s mum tells killers ‘there are no winners’

Kai McGinley was shot dead in a car on Pembroke Road on February 9 last year in what the Old Bailey was told was a targeted execution motivated by drug dealing rivalries. 

Four men have been convicted of his murder and three men of his manslaughter – all of them are from Erith, Bexley or Belvedere. 

Lena McGinley, Kai’s mum, read her victim impact statement at their sentencing hearing on Monday (July 8). 

Kai was my youngest child and only son. It gives me no pleasure standing before the court to make this statement but it is my truth,” she said. 

“In all honesty I thought I wouldn’t get through this pain. It has been soul destroying and immeasurable.” 

Lena described her son as an up-and-coming rap artist who was gifted beyond his years. 

“I’ve still got a half-written song that I found after my son died, which broke me because he didn’t get to complete it,” she said. 

Lena said her son was caring, compassionate, humble and had an infectious zest for life. 

Guilty of murder and facing life sentences: top row, Wallder and Spahiu, bottom row, Osibodu and ReeveGuilty of murder and facing life sentences: top row, Wallder and Spahiu, bottom row, Osibodu and Reeve (Image: Met Police)

‘There are no winners’ 

She told the court: “My boy Kai was 24-years-old when he went out one day and he didn’t come home. I can’t explain how hard it was to tell my girls he had been killed, not by accident but at the hands of others.”   

Addressing her son’s killers, Lena said: “There are no winners in this situation, everyone has lost something. The defendants have paid the ultimate price.” 

She told them this “senseless act” could have been avoided if not for their “bruised egos”. 

“Their families are collateral damage, and they are victims themselves,” she said. 

She said she hopes for a safer world so her friends and family can go about their lives without violence. 

Kai was 24 when he was murderedKai was 24 when he was murdered (Image: Met Police) Lena added that Kai will be celebrated for the way he lived, not the way he died. 

Kai’s sister, Kelly, echoed this, saying: “My brother will never be just another statistic. He was our world and we were his. 

“He was fiercely protective and if he loved you, he loved you wholeheartedly. 

“He had a way of making people feel like they were somebody even if they didn’t feel like that themselves.” 

Kai’s family said they are working to set up a not-for-profit organisation to help disadvantaged young people through music. 

The shooting took place on Pembroke Road, ErithThe shooting took place on Pembroke Road, Erith (Image: Berk Uyal)

‘Targeted execution’ 

Prosecutor Brian O’Neill KC said the prosecution’s case is that Kai’s murder took place against the background of drug dealing. 

While they could not pinpoint an exact motive, he said: “The court can be sure that his murder was related to the involvement of him and his friends in drug dealing, and the involvement of most of the defendants in drug dealing in the same geographic area.” 

He said the murder involved a “significant degree of planning”. 

Kai was with his friends, Bill and Norman, in a stolen Mini Countryman on February 9 last year.  

At around 8.45pm they were travelling along Pembroke Road , when a Land Rover Freelander drove at them in the opposite direction with its lights off.   

Close behind the Land Rover was a grey Peugeot 307.    

Mr O’Neill said: “As it got closer, it became clear to the occupants of the Mini that the Land Rover was driving towards it, head-on, with its lights off.  

“In an attempt to let the oncoming Land Rover pass, Kai began to move the Mini to the left hand-side of the road but it was struck, deliberately, at speed and with force, by the Land Rover.”    

The Mini span to the right before coming to a stop. 

“Some or all of the occupants of the Peugeot and the Land Rover got out of their vehicles, approached the Mini and opened fire,” Mr O’Neill said.     

“Four or five shots were fired from two shotguns at close range one of which fatally wounded Kai McGinley. They then fled the scene.” 

During the trial Kai’s friend Bill described the incident .

He said the car was then surrounded by two or three people on the passenger side, where he was sat ducking down. 

He said: “When I’ve looked up, someone started hitting me with a gun. 

“I keep ducking thinking I don’t want to get shot. Then the guns gone out the window and the barrel’s been put against the door.” 

At this point their attackers fired their final shot and this killed Kai, Mr Burton said. 

After the attack, Mr Burton said: “I didn’t see them leave but I heard a car screech off.” 

He said he and Kai both got out the passenger side as the driver’s side was blocked. 

Mr Burton said: “Kai’s turned to me and said ‘Bill I’m in trouble’. I said ‘What do you mean?’, he lifted his hand and I saw blood. 

“Then I heard a bang and saw he’d hit the floor.” 

Forensic officers on the scene in Pembroke Road, Erith Forensic officers on the scene in Pembroke Road, Erith (Image: Berk Uyal)

Roles in the killing 

Four men were found guilty of Kai’s murder, as well as attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to Bill and Norman who were also in the car. They are:  

  • Enriko Spahiu, 21, of Belvedere 
  • Bradlee Reeve, 34, of Erith  
  • Anthony Wallder, 21, of Bexley  
  • Kai Osibodu, 25, of Erith 

Three other men were cleared of Kai’s murder but were found guilty of manslaughter:  

  • Jalees Selby-Gangera, 19, of Erith  
  • Charlie Brabon, 19, of Erith  
  • Connor Brooks, 22, of Erith  

Left to right: Selby-Gangera, Brooks and BrabonLeft to right: Selby-Gangera, Brooks and Brabon (Image: Met Police) The prosecution’s case was that Reeve, Spahiu and Wallder were all in the Peugeot along with two shotguns. 

Mr O’Neill claimed both shotguns were fired and that the court could be sure that Reeve fired one of them because his DNA was found on a shotgun cartridge.  

However, Mr O’Neill said it was not clear who fired the fatal shot. 

He said it was also not clear which of Wallder and Spahiu fired the second shotgun but that they must both have been aware of the shotguns in the car. 

Mr O’Neill said Selby-Gangera, Brabon and Brooks were passengers in the Land Rover, driven by Osibodu, which rammed Kai off the road. 

Reeve, Osibodu and Wallder gave evidence in the trial and denied being present. 

After the shooting weapons, phones and clothes were all disposed of and the Peugeot was destroyed. 

The Land Rover was left at the scene after it broke down following the crash. 

The sentencing hearing is expected to last several days due to the number of defendants. 

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