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Police appeal for help on the eve of 10th anniversary of Ipswich nightclub murder

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 December 2016

The scene outside Zest after Jimoh Plunkett's murder. 
Picture by Jerry Turner

The scene outside Zest after Jimoh Plunkett's murder. Picture by Jerry Turner

Amid the maelstrom created by the Steve Wright murders in 2006 London gang violence erupted at a town nightclub and claimed the life of a young man.

STAR NEWS

 Zest shooting murder victim Jimoh Plunkett

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ES 1.2.10STAR NEWS Zest shooting murder victim Jimoh Plunkett PICTURE CONTRIBUTED ES 2 02 07 EADT 3 02 07 ES 21 02 07 ES 13 04 07 EADT 14 04 07 ES 9.05.07 EADT 10 05 07 ES 10 05 07 ES 18 05 07 ES 3/7/07 ES 21/7/07 ES 24/7/07 ES 5/9/07 ES 17/10/07 ES 23/10/07 ES 5/12/07 EADT 26/10/07 EADT 6/12/07 ES 18/1/08 ES 19/3/08 EADT 20/3/08 EADT 10/9/08 EADT 9/12/09 ES 9/12/09 ES 10/12/09 ES 21/12/09 ES 1.2.10

Suffolk Constabulary’s resources were already stretched after the second of Wright’s victims, Tania Nicol, was discovered the previous day.

They were further strained by the murder of Jimoh Plunkett at Zest nightclub in Princes Street.

The 24-year-old was among 800 people who were in the troubled nightspot. Around 90% of them had come up from the London for a live music night on December 8, 2006.

Early the following morning Mr Plunkett was fatally shot in the chest and three others were also wounded. Another man was stabbed.

A Baikal gun  possibly the same as one used to kill Jimoh PlunkettA Baikal gun  possibly the same as one used to kill Jimoh Plunkett

Although a gun was found it was not the weapon which killed Mr Plunkett.

At the time of Mr Plunkett’s death detectives said they did not believe he was involved in the gang culture and thought he was not the intended target of the shooter.

Mr Plunkett, from the New Cross area, managed to get out of Zest but collapsed 50 metres away near the Commercial Road sorting office.

He was pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital less than two hours later.

Police officers making a detailed search of gardens beside the Ipswich Crown Court after the Zest nightclub killing.
Picture by jerry TurnerPolice officers making a detailed search of gardens beside the Ipswich Crown Court after the Zest nightclub killing. Picture by jerry Turner

A number of incidents of disorder had occurred inside Zest before Mr Plunkett’s murder with conflicts between rival gangs trying to impose their presence.

A group of males and females arrived at 1.34am and a fight broke out.

The group left the club, but returned later with some of them having changed clothing.

Just before 2am two forced their way past door staff, while others were restrained and entered the club one by one.

Shortly after 2.05am revellers cowered by tables as multiple shots were fired towards where Mr Plunkett and his friends were.

The victims managed to get out of the fire exit, while the group who had been shooting left by the main door.

The subsequent murder inquiry saw police take 1,300 statements and log 8,000 exhibits, but no one was charged.

One of the two prime suspects for the murder was killed in a shooting less than two years later.

A wall of silence from those who were at Zest meant detectives could never prove Errol Davis was the man who pulled the trigger.

Mr Davis was shot to the head at close range in October 2008 at the SEOne nightclub in Weston Street, Bermondsey, near London Bridge.

At one stage it is understood police were investigating the possibility that Mr Davis may have been killed in revenge for Mr Plunkett’s murder.

Mr Davis and a 30-year-old man were brought to Suffolk for questioning in 2007, but were never charged.

In April 2011 following a re-trial at the Old Bailey a jury acquitted Taurean Taylor of the murders of Mr Davis and another man Larry Safie, However, Taylor was jailed for six years for shooting another man in the shoulder.

Last night Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward, of Suffolk’s major investigation team, said; “The investigation into the death of Jimoh Plunkett remains an open inquiry.

“Eighteen people were arrested during the course of the investigation, however one of the key suspects has since died and there was insufficient evidence to proceed against any individual in relation to Jimoh’s death.

“We believe the answer to what happened lies with communities in the Metropolitan Police area and would continue to ask anyone with information to come forward.

“Ten years on allegiances may have changed and someone may feel they can now talk to police about the case.

“The information gathered during the course of the inquiry means it may be that even the smallest detail could assist with the progression of this – and we’d ask those there that night to think about whether they would now consider assisting to bring some answers for Jimoh’s family.”

Anyone with information can call the Major Investigation Team at Suffolk Police by dialling 101 or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555111.

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