Shooting Victim 40th Birthday Appeal

5th November 2015

The family of Marvin Couson, who died 13 years after he was shot in Shoreditch, have launched an emotional plea for help on what would have been his 40th birthday.

Marvin's mother and sister are appealing for witnesses and information about the incident in the Lime in London Bar - commonly known as the Lime Bar - in Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2 on Saturday, 12 May 2002.

Marvin died on Saturday, 8 August 2015 having been confined to a hospital bed unable to communicate or do anything for himself since he was shot. He would have been 40 on Thursday, 5 November.

His 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 added: "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."

Officers were called at 03:40hrs on Saturday, 12 May 2002 to reports of gunfire at the bar.

On arrival, officers found Marvin, then aged 26 and of Darlington Road, West Norwood, on the ground outside the bar with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition with injuries to his heart and other internal organs.

After an operation he was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney. He was unable to care for himself or leave his hospital bed. He could not communicate and had no capacity to understand anything said to him.

Police were informed by the hospital that he died at 22:40hrs on 8 August. A post-mortem examination on Wednesday, 12 August at Croydon mortuary gave cause of death as brain injury suffered as a direct result of the shooting.

Marvin had visited the Lime Bar with his cousin and a friend on 12 May 2002. In the early hours they fled, along with a large number of other people, after shots were fired inside the bar.

Outside Marvin's friend saw a red or burgundy Ford Fiesta, thought to contain at least two black men, driving fast along Curtain Road. The vehicle struck him and he grappled with the front seat passenger.

A gun was then fired and the friend walked back towards the bar to see father-of-two Marvin lying shot on the ground.

Trident officers took on the case and made several appeals for witnesses and information. 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 subsequently released with no further action.

An incident room has opened at the Homicide and Major Crime Command under Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh.

DCI McHugh said: "What would have been Marvin's 40th birthday is clearly a very sad and poignant time for his family. He should have been celebrating and instead he spent 13 years in a hospital bed unable to do anything for himself before tragically succumbing to his injuries.

"Since Marvin's death we have traced a number of people who were in the bar that night but we need to speak to everyone who was there and continue to appeal for them to come forward.

"I am concerned some people may have a misguided sense of loyalty and are possibly protecting those who carried out this attack. I would ask them to look at the picture of Marvin in his hospital bed and think of the pain and suffering his family have endured for all these years - by staying silent you are adding to their grief. Marvin was just out for the night with friends, this should not have happened.

"I know 13 years is a long time but the shooting of Marvin will have been talked about and must still remain etched on the minds of guests who were there that night. Don't assume someone else will make the call to police - if you have information, not matter how small and irrelevant you may think it is, please come forward.

"In particular I would like to trace the occupants of the burgundy Ford Fiesta - at this stage we don't know the full extent of their involvement and need to speak to them urgently."

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

+ The Lime in London bar no longer exists - it is now the Queen of Hoxton pub

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