Guydance Dacres shooting: Fresh appeal on 20th anniversary of teen’s ‘Murder Mile’ nightclub death

Guydance Dacres, right, was shot dead in Chimes nightclub in January 1997.

Guydance Dacres, right, was shot dead in Chimes nightclub in January 1997. - Credit: Archant

Twenty years following the death of Hoxton lad Guydance Dacres, a fresh appeal has been launched to find his killers. The 16-year-old Cardinal Pole student was partying with friends in now-notorious Chimes nightclub when he was shot in the head in a random attack.

How the Gazette covered the murder.

How the Gazette covered the murder. - Credit: Archant

In the early hours of Sunday, January 5, 1997, 16-year-old schoolboy Guydance Dacres was shot dead as he danced with friends at a Lower Clapton club. It was his first ever night out.

There were said to be 300 people inside the private party at the soon-to-be-notorious venue Chimes, now the transformed Clapton Hart pub.

The gun was found in the nightclub toilets and detectives, and Guydance’s teachers, believed people who were there knew who pulled the trigger. But the brutal and chilling murder has still not been solved.

Now, 20 years on, police have renewed their appeal for witnesses to break the wall of silence with the message: “It’s not too late.”

The Clapton Hart today.

The Clapton Hart today. - Credit: Archant

Guydance, who had lived in Mill Row, Hoxton, with his parents and younger brother, was shot through the head and died in the arms of friends as terrified clubgoers fled the club in Lower Clapton Road.

He was a popular and hard-working student at Cardinal Pole school and was not caught up in any of the gang violence that would lead to the road being dubbed “Murder Mile” in the years following his death.

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Speaking to the Gazette last week, former Det Supt James Sutherland, who led the murder investigation, said Guydance was a “thoroughly decent young guy”.

“It’s an absolute tragedy what happened,” he said. “He was a big lad, Guydance. And he was very, very popular. Anyone who was at that nightclub must have seen him.

“There was people standing next to the culprits who would undoubtedly have [been bragging]. This young man didn’t deserve to die.

“He was well brought up and it was his first ever disco. I think it was someone trying to make a name for themselves. We had a good squad of detectives and we ran them into the deck trying to find the killers.”

Two men, Anthony Bourne, of Tottenham, and Fabiann Fatinikun, of Hornsey, were acquitted of his murder at the Old Bailey in 2000.

And James, now an experienced barrister, said Guydance’s killing is the one case that sticks with him to this day. “I think about that guy all the time,” he said. “The case was one of the very few that got away.

“I would appeal for witnesses to come forward, who no doubt would be given full protection of the law.”

Former Cardinal Pole teacher Joseph Coughlan said the first day back in school after Guydance’s death was his darkest time at the school and has also urged people to come forward. He said of Guydance: “He was not particularly academic, but he was a gentle soul. He was well liked by his classmates and respected by the Cardinal Pole staff. He was never any trouble. He came from a very good family. I wish they could get justice and therefore closure on such a tragic loss of life.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “Although our exhaustive enquiries haven’t led us to those responsible yet, we will actively pursue any new lines of enquiry. We would urge anyone who was at the club that night and saw what happened, or has any information about Guydance’s murder, to come forward and help us bring the killer to justice. It is not too late.”

The Gazette has been unable to contact Guydance’s family over the renewed appeal.

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.