Inquest: 'No motive' found to unsolved murder of hero who rescued rape victim

Ronke Badru, the mother of Abraham Badru who was shot dead on Ferncliff Road in Hackney on March 25, 2018

Ronke Badru, the mother of Abraham Badru who was shot dead in March 2018, holding a picture of her son and the bravery award he received in 2019 - Credit: PA

Police have "never identified any links or motive" to the murder of a man who spent a decade fearing retribution after testifying against a rape gang.

Abraham Badru was shot dead on March 25, 2018, 11 years after he had given evidence against a gang who raped a girl on the Frampton Park Estate.

The 26-year-old's murder - which took place just yards from his mother's home in Ferncliff Road, Dalston - remains unsolved.

Abraham Badru who was gunned down next to his AMG Mercedes after pulling up near his home in Hackney on March 25 2018

Abraham Badru who was gunned down next to his AMG Mercedes after pulling up near his home in Hackney on March 25 2018 - Credit: PA

An inquest has heard how Abraham received threatening messages telling him he was “dead meat” after he came to the rescue of a sex assault victim in 2017.

These messages forced the then 14-year-old to stay indoors, cover his face and go by another name, St Pancras Coroner's Court was told.

Abraham was handed a bravery award for saving a girl's life by rescuing her from a knifepoint attack on the Frampton Park Estate in South Hackney.

He later gave evidence in court against the suspects, who he had known while growing up. 

Abraham's mother has long since maintained that her son was killed because he gave that testimony. 

Giving evidence to the inquest yesterday - Monday, February 21 - Ronke Ali Badru said she begged police not to make her son testify against the suspects, but was told she would be charged with perverting the course of justice if she intervened.

He went on to spent the rest of his life living in fear of retribution from those he helped to convict, leaving London entirely at the age of 16.

Abraham moved to Bristol to undertake his A-levels, but after completing his Masters degree returned to London in 2016 for work, by which point he went by the name 'Prince'.

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He was shot two years later, with the killing taking place 24 hours after a mystery woman showed at his mother's house.

Ronke said: “The day before (he was shot), I heard him say to a woman: ‘How did you know where I live?’

“They both went into the kitchen. I did not recognise the girl.”

The following day, Mrs Badru said she saw “two men, looking suspicious” outside her home.

She was awoken later that night to be told that her son had been shot.

Abraham Badru who was gunned down next to his AMG Mercedes after pulling up near his home in Hackney

Abraham Badru who was gunned down next to his AMG Mercedes after pulling up near his home in Hackney, east London, on March 25 2018 - Credit: PA

The inquest heard that Abraham was on the phone to a woman when he was fatally shot shortly after 11pm as he unloaded items from the boot of his car.

Det Sgt Matthew Bennett told the hearing: “She (the woman) described hearing a number of loud bangs, then hearing the sound of screeching tyres.

“She was completely unaware of what had taken place.”

Ronke wiped tears from her eyes as coroner Mary Hassell read witness statements that confirmed her son was pronounced dead at the scene after receiving gunshot wounds to the chest and thigh.

Ronke Badru. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Ronke Badru. Picture: Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

Police said the gang rape suspects all had alibis for the night Abraham was killed, while other lines of enquiry – including investigating the women he was speaking before he died – drew a blank.

Mr Bennett said: “We still haven’t, to this day, identified any links to the murder or any motive.

“We couldn’t find anyone who had a particular grudge or vendetta against him.

“It has just been a wall of silence in relation to the murder investigation.”

Ronke said the threatening messages began days after the rape suspects were arrested in 2007.

She said: “Abraham was receiving messages saying ‘you’re dead meat’, ‘you’re a snitch’.

“He was so scared, he stopped going out.”

His car was also vandalised years later, she added, which further worried her son.

She described her son as “a very gentle boy”, who had “never been in a fight”.

The inquest was adjourned until May.