Case: 13 Years Later: Marvin Couson
Marvin Couson
Case unsolved
Status: Unsolved
Categories: Uncategorised
Case synopsis:

Marvin Couson, 39, died in hospital 13 years after he was shot in the chest in Shoreditch.

He was found lying outside the Lime in London bar on Curtain Road at 3.40am on 12 May 2002.

Marvin was taken to hospital with injuries to his heart and other internal injuries. He remained confined to a hospital bed unable to communicate or do anything for himself.

He died at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney at 10.40pm on 8 August 2015 from a brain injury suffered as a direct result of the shooting.

Detectives launched a murder investigation and appealed for help tracing the killer.

In February 2016 the case was featured on BBC Crimewatch and a £40,000 reward was offered for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible.

Marvin Couson

Marvin Couson before the shooting and in hospital

Marvin was 26 years old and living in Darlington Road, West Norwood, when he visited the Lime Bar (now known as the Queen of Hoxton) with his cousin and a friend.

They fled the bar after shots were fired inside. Once outside Marvin's friend was hit by a red or burgundy Ford Fiesta driving fast along Curtain Road. He grappled with the front seat passenger before a gun was fired. When he walked back towards the bar he saw Marvin lying shot on the ground.

Around 600 people were inside the venue at the time for a commercial party and 200-300 of them congregated in the street after shots were fired inside the club.

One man was arrested during the course of the investigation, on 23 May 2002, but was released with no further action.

Detectives are still trying to trace a burgundy Ford Fiesta which was seen driving fast along Curtain Road after the shooting.

After the BBC Crimewatch programme in February 2016, Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "We have announced a large reward in the hope that it will encourage someone to come forward.

"Marvin's shooting happened many years ago but you would remember if you were there that night and were one of those who fled in panic as shots were fired inside the bar.

"We need to speak to everyone who was there that night. I remain concerned some people may have a misguided sense of loyalty and are possibly protecting those who carried out this attack. Marvin should have celebrated his 40th birthday in November. Instead he spent 13 years in a hospital bed unable to do anything for himself before tragically succumbing to his injuries.

"If you have information, not matter how small and irrelevant you may think it is, please come forward."

Marvin's mother Emily said: "For 13 years Marvin was imprisoned and we visited him every day in hospital. Today we should have been celebrating Marvin's 40th birthday and he should be here celebrating with us.

"I raised my six children as a single parent and I worked very hard to look after them without support. I worked until my youngest son Joe was born in 1992. I returned to work in April 2002, a month before Marvin was shot.

"Marvin worked hard fitting security systems in shops. Marvin loved dancing and would teach kids jazz and street dance.

"I want to forget the time when I was told Marvin had been shot - in the early hours of 12 May, 2002. But I will never forget that day. Marvin was my son, a brother and a father. To whoever killed Marvin, my little boy, you tried to kill our family.

"No-one should suffer like this. I would like those young boys who take guns and knives to look at the consequences of their actions. There are real people behind your cowardly actions."

Marvin's sister Margaret recorded his last moments of life during one of the family's daily visits to his bedside.

She told BBC Crimewatch: "He started breathing irregularly. At the time I didn't know what was happening. I just saw something I hadn't seen before…the struggles to take breaths. So I started to film.

"I didn’t know that he was taking his last breaths."

She said in a statement: "Unfortunately, I struggle to remember Marvin before he was shot because I have spent the last 13 years at his bedside in the hospital. I struggle to remember even what I was like before. What I do remember is the projectile vomit, the bed sores, the trauma that the person who shot Marvin has caused, and the loss of my brother Marvin's life.

"Marvin should have been here today celebrating his 40th birthday, we would have made it a special day and I know he would have smiled as we celebrated it with him; now we won't even get that smile. My family appeal to those who know the name of Marvin's killer to end our suffering by talking to the police."

Detectives and the family renewed appeals for information in November 2016, to mark what would have been Marvin's 41st birthday.

On 14 September 2018 a 37 year-old serving prisoner, who is linked to a Birmingham gang, was arrested under caution.

DCI McHugh said: "My team have been working extremely hard since Marvin's tragic death to investigate what happened to him that night and what the motive could be for his murder.

"At this stage everything points to a dispute between organised criminal gangs from London and Birmingham. It is all the more sad as Marvin was not involved in gangs or criminality and we believe he was an entirely innocent victim of a dispute that had nothing to do with him.

"Our investigation has led us to interview under caution a serving prisoner. Our enquiries continue apace and we are still appealing for witnesses and information about Marvin's murder. A significant reward is on offer which we hope will persuade someone to come forward. The smallest piece of information could really help.

"A lot of time has passed and loyalties change so I hope for the sake of Marvin's family - and his two children who are now teenagers - that someone can find it within themselves to do the right thing.

"In particular I would appeal for someone who previously called Crimestoppers with information about those concerned in Marvin's murder. We urge you to please contact Crimestoppers anonymously again or the police incident room. I would like to speak to you personally as soon as possible as you may have further information that could be vital to our enquiries."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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