The trial of seven men accused of murdering Kai McGinley in Erith has restarted after a two-week break due to the death of a barrister and a fire at the Old Bailey. 

The trial came to a sudden halt on Tuesday, January 30, with the news that Robert Woodcock KC, who was lead counsel defendant Jalees Selby-Gangera, died that morning. 

Gillian Jones KC and Tom Forster KC, heads of Red Lion Chambers, said: “It was a great privilege to have known and worked with Bertie. 

“He will be fondly remembered not only as an exceptional advocate but also as a cherished friend and colleague.” 

Sally O’Neill KC stepped in as leading counsel for Selby-Gangera and the trial was ready to resume last Wednesday morning (February 7). 

However, the Old Bailey was evacuated after a loud bang was heard and black acrid smoke billowed from an electrical substation near the rear of the building. 

Inside the Old Bailey, lights flickered and dimmed, and some of the 18 courtrooms suddenly descended into complete darkness just as cases were getting under way shortly after 10am. 

The Old Bailey re-opened after checks were completed on Monday (February 12), but the trial could not resume due to a juror’s illness. 

The trial will resume today (Tuesday, February 13) with a forensic pathologist due to give evidence about Kai’s death. 

'Targeted execution'

Prosecutor Brian O'Neill KC has told the jury that 24-year-old Kai was shot dead in a “planned and targeted execution which was almost certainly drugs related”. 

He said Kai was with his friends, Bill Burton and Norman Samura, in a stolen white Mini which had false plates. 

They were rammed off the road by a Land Rover. Some or all of the occupants of that car, as well as a Peugeot which was behind it, jumped out and opened fire, he said. 

“Four or five shots were fired from two shotguns at close range one of which fatally wounded Kai McGinley. They then fled the scene," Mr O'Neill said. 

You can read our previous reports from this trial here: 

Seven south-east Londoners accused of murder    

Seven men are on trial accused jointly of murdering Kai and attempting to murder Mr Burton and Mr Samura.     

They are:     

  • Enriko Spahui, 21, of Elmhurst in Belvdere      
  • Jalees Selby-Gangera, 18, of Woodfield Close in Erith      
  • Connor Brooks, 21, of Horsa Road in Erith      
  • Bradlee Reeve, 34, of Chapman Road in Erith      
  • Kai Osibodu, 24, of Riverdale Road in Erith      
  • Charlie Brabon, 19, of Bryon Drive in Erith      
  • Anthony Wallder, 21, of Eastry Road in Bexley     

All seven men deny the charges against them.   

The trial continues.