Case: Gunned down outside prison: Darcy Austin-Bruce
Victim
Name:
Darcy Austin-Bruce
Gender:
Male
Date:
2009-05-01
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Gun
Killer
Name:
Rupert Ross
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Leon De St Aubin
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Drug Related
Case synopsis:

Darcy Austin-Bruce, 20, was gunned down as he visited HMP Wandsworth in south London on May 1, 2009.

He was being escorted from the visitor centre to the jail at around 2pm when he was shot five times at close range.

Four men went on trial for murder at the Old Bailey in September 2011.

On November 8, 2011, gunman Rupert Ross, 30, and getaway driver Leon De Saint Aubin, 34, both from Fulham, were convicted of murder. They were sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years before parole.

Casper Smith, 30, and his cousin Khori Hines, 34, also stood trial for murder. but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. They were both cleared of murder after the prosecution offered no evidence.

Ross, De St Aubin and Darcy had been friends but it is thought they fell out over drug dealing.

Detectives said that a few days before the murder Darcy and another youth had shot at a car being driven by De St Aubin.

Ross and De St Aubin decided to take revenge after hearing indirectly from Smith, an inmate at HMP Wandsworth, that Darcy had booked a visit for May 1.

Having signed up to a motorcyle driving course, they travelled to the prison on a stolen moped, wearing suits and crash helmets.

Darcy and two other friends were being escorted across the car park from the visitor's centre to the prison when Ross walked up to him, took out a hand gun and shot Darcy in the back in front of other visitors including women and children.

When Darcy turned around his killer continued to shoot him in the chest. As he collapsed to the ground the gunman ran off and escaped on a moped driven by another man in a suit and crash helmet.

Nurses and doctors from the prison rushed to treat the victim but he was pronounced dead at the scene in Heathfield Road.

Detectives from Trident used phone records and witness evidence to prove that Ross was the gunman and De St Aubin his getaway driver.

Ross, a former public schoolboy, had written in his diary that he was 'living a gangster lifestyle, making good money and living a fast life.' De St Aubin was a serving fireman.

Gunman Rupert Ross (left) and getaway driver Leon De St Aubin (right)

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Brian Lucas of Trident said: "These men were living violent and criminal lives to the extent that they believed that they could get away with killing a man in broad daylight as revenge for a petty argument. I believe that they had lost sight of reality and now face the consequences of their sad and violent choices.

"Darcy Austen-Bruce was killed in a frightening and organized way. Those innocent people that were witness to this were highly distressed and scarred by what they saw.

"My thoughts are with the family of Darcy at this time. I am glad that today these men have been found guilty and can no longer delude themselves of their 'gangster' status and realize a sad future is in front of them of a long prison life."

On the evening of Darcy's funeral and wake, on June 4, 2009, a friend of Ross and De St Aubin, Anthony Otton, 28, was shot dead on the Fulham Court Estate in west London. The case remains unsolved.

The family of Mr Austin-Bruce had previously issued a statement: "Our son Darcy Austin-Bruce was brutally murdered in cold blood outside Wandsworth prison. Darcy was a loving kind generous and thoughtful young man who always made us laugh and smile.

"You never expect these terrible things to happen to you or someone in your family, but it does and it is devastating. And as a family we are just existing. Every day the pain is as fresh as the day he was first taken from us.

"No parent should see their child lying in a mortuary, or see and feel the bullets holes in his lifeless body, a life that was taken away by an evil monster and his accomplices.

"Darcy was our world. We are a very loving family and Darcy’s murder leaves us with such a void of unimaginable magnitude. This has destroyed our family."

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