Guydance Dacres: Mother of Hoxton teen shot dead in Clapton nightclub 22 years ago appeals for partygoers to end silence
- Credit: Archant
The mother of a teenage boy shot dead in a Clapton nightclub 22 years ago says the police were “careless” in their investigation and has pleaded with partygoers to end their silence.
Cardinal Pole student Guydance Dacres was dancing with friends at Chimes in Lower Clapton Road in the early hours of January 5, 1997 when he was gunned down. It was the 16-year-old’s first ever night out.
He was a popular and hard-working student and 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.
There were said to be 300 people inside the private birthday party at the soon-to-be-notorious venue, which is now the transformed Clapton Hart.
The gun was found in the nightclub toilets and police and Guydance’s family know someone there saw who pulled the trigger. But the murder still has not been solved.
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Two years ago the Gazette asked Scotland Yard to reopen the investigation, and a fresh appeal was launched for witnesses. Now, having seen that piece, Guydance’s mother Eugenie Albert has made her own plea.
She said: “The police were careless. They didn’t do DNA on the gun or clothes or follow up leads. I’ve phoned Scotland Yard twice to find out if his file was still open and they said: ‘Yes it is’, but I don’t think they are doing anything.
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“These kids who were there, they have children now of their own. Would they like their son or daughter to go out and get killed like that? And no one says who done it?
“This person had no reason to shoot Guydance. The police said he was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just wish somebody would say: ‘I would like to say what I have seen that night, I believe I saw some person with a gun’. “Somebody must have seen it. People who were there probably talk about it with their friends.
“We can’t forget it. You hope you will hear something but I’ve never heard anything.”
Two men, Anthony Bourne, of Tottenham, and Fabiann Fatinikun, of Hornsey, were acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey in 2000.
Guydance’s friend Jason – who still visits his grave on his birthday – told Eugenie he had gone to get their coats and came back to see Guydance on the floor. At the time everyone was lighting their lighters to a song the DJ was playing.
The family lived in Mill Row, Hoxton at the time. Remembering her son, Eugenie said Guydance had gone out that night dressed smarter than he woud normally dress.
She continued: “All the time he go out he dress streetwise and I tell him: ‘Don’t dress like that’. That night he dressed the way I wanted him to dress. I don’t know why.
“He dressed himself in a nice jumper and he wore a raincoat and he looked nice. He came and said to me: ‘Mum I’m going’ and he went downstairs and had a drink then he came back upstairs again and said bye to his dad. Normally he’d just say: ‘I’m going’. It was like he had a premonition.”
After her son’s death, Eugenie couldn’t take going to work, and eventually moved out of the area. She now lives in Essex.
“He used to come home from school and look after his brother Stewart while I went to work part time at the Post Office,” she explained. “But after he got killed I didn’t work for nine months. I couldn’t it. Every time I’d see somebody in the street they’d ask me how I was and I’d burst out crying. I couldn’t take it.”
Eugenie added: “Guydance would come home from school and he would have a story to tell you about something that happened. If he was walking along the street and there were flowers coming over a fence he would always pick flowers and bring them for me.
“He would always have something to say to make you laugh.”
Two years ago the Gazette tracked down former Det Supt James Sutherland, who had led the murder probe. Now a top barrister, Mr Sutherland said: “I think about that guy all the time,” he said. “The case was one of the very few that got away. It’s an absolute tragedy what happened.”