Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four Deny Killing Boxer in Club Row over Smoking Ban; Senseless: James Oyebola, above, Was Shot in the Back of the Neck Following the Dispute at Chateau 6 in Fulham. He Died without Regaining Consciousness

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four Deny Killing Boxer in Club Row over Smoking Ban; Senseless: James Oyebola, above, Was Shot in the Back of the Neck Following the Dispute at Chateau 6 in Fulham. He Died without Regaining Consciousness

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON

A FORMER British boxing champion was shot dead at a Fulham club after asking a group of men to stop smoking, the Old Bailey heard today.

James Oyebola, 46, was shot in the back of the neck and died in hospital without regaining consciousness, the jury was told.

One of his killers had smuggled a gun into Chateau 6 in Fulham Road by hid-ing it down his trousers, it was alleged.

Mr Oyebola, who won a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games after losing to Lennox Lewis, was described as being pleasant, calm and happy before the shooting.

But witnesses said 6ft 9ins Mr Oyebola was surrounded by at least three men after asking clubbers not to smoke in the clubs courtyard area.

DJ James Cornwell saw Mr Oyebola being jostled by three men and thought it looked like a giant against kids. But moments later he saw the gunman raise his arm and fire shots.

Another witness, Jermaine Ford, said Mr Oyebola had warned him not to smoke in the area and described him as being perfectly polite, causing no offence. Mr Oyebola was a friend of the club owner and his son.

Four men deny murder in July last year only three weeks after the introduction of the smoking ban.

Jeremy Donne, QC, prosecuting, told the court that all four knew a gun had been brought to the club and might be used. The reason for the killing was particularly senseless Mr Oyebola had become involved in a dispute over smoking inside the club, he said.

In the course of the confrontation with these four defendants one of them produced a gun and fired four bullets, with two striking the hapless victim. …

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