THE brother of a murder victim today relived the moment an armed mob bore down on them and launched a vicious attack.

Shaun Gale-Bent and his older brother Jason, 29, were near the family home in New Cross smoking a cigarette when a gang fired at them with an air pistol and plunged a knife into Jason's chest.

At Jason's inquest, Shaun told the court: "We went outside to smoke. Then people started coming down towards us.

"They pulled out a gun and started firing at me and I turned and ran.

"I ran to the other side of the estate."

Jason, an unemployed lifeguard, received a fatal stab wound to the heart during the "random" attack as well as a stab wound to his back, blows to his face and body and an injury from an air gun pellet.

He managed to drag himself back to the house in Ludwick Mews, the inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court heard.

"I saw Jason on the floor," said Shaun, who was also injured by a pellet. "He was outside my house.

"There was a big patch of blood on the floor two doors down."

He was taken by ambulance to Lewisham Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened on September 17, 2006, at around 9pm, while the brothers and Jason's friend were sat on a wall in Woodpecker Path, just 30 yards from their front door.

They did not know any of the 30 to 40-strong mob, some of whom were on bikes, said Shaun.

Detective Inspector Andrew Barton, who is leading the investigation, which has now been scaled down, said Jason's attack was a result of "a chance encounter with a group from a neighbouring borough".

No-one has ever been brought to justice for the murder. Eight people were arrested and interviewed but no-one has been charged.

Det Insp Barton said: "There was no evidence elsewhere to link them to the scene.

"They all had alibis, none of which we could break down,"

Detectives from the Met's Operation Trident, which deals with gun crime in London's black community, originally thought it may be linked to two other incidents.

On the same night a large group of youths was seen outside the Community Action Centre, in Grove Street, Deptford. A man in the area was chased by some youths to Deptford Wharf, where he was stabbed.

He was taken to hospital and later discharged.

But Det Insp Barton said they needed more evidence about the attack in Woodpecker Path.

"We've had thin pickings evidence-wise," he said.

He added: "We continue to appeal to the community to come forward and help us solve this crime, for the sake of Jason's family.

"I can assure anyone who speaks to us that we will do so in the strictest confidence and there are a number of special measures we can take for those who are fearful of speaking to police."

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, coroner Gail Elliman said: "They were attacked by a group of youths using an air pistol and other weapons. Jason was fired at, stabbed and suffered other injuries.

"I'm satisfied he died of a stab wound to the chest."