Gang rape witness murdered ‘after police failed to protect him’
A teenager who gave evidence at a trial for gang rape was murdered, with his mother saying police should have done more to protect him. Abraham Badru, 26, was 14 when he rescued the girl from her attackers at a party. He testified in court, was given a police award for bravery and was awarded £500 from the judge. However, shortly afterwards he started getting messages saying he was a ‘dead man’.
His mother believes he was shot on March 25 this year in revenge for the rapists being convicted. She claims the police and council should have done more to protect him. Ronke Badru told the Hackney Gazette: ‘When [the police] got what they wanted, that was that – they didn’t protect him.’ She said police fitted intruder alarms in their home, but this just meant her son isolated himself indoors. ‘Really [Hackney Council] should have moved us immediately, but they left us to bid for a place, and you can’t bid for anywhere outside this borough,’ Ronke told the Gazette. She was eventually moved to a home in Dalston, while Abraham moved to Bristol to study.
However, years later he moved back to London for work, could not afford a place of his own, so moved back in with his mother. After his car was vandalised, the pair once again asked to be moved but his mother claims this was not accommodated. Eighteen months later, Badru was fatally shot with what police believe was a rented shotgun. His mother said: ‘The girl is on witness protection today. They changed her name. They changed everything about her, and my son was just left. And now my son is no more.’
A spokesman for Hackney Council said: ‘We always give absolute priority to families in urgent need of rehousing for safety reasons, and have agreements in place to move families outside of Hackney where they are suffering threats or harassment.
‘Mr Badru’s family were initially rehoused after he had acted as a witness in a court case. They were then recognised as needing a move further away from the area and had the opportunity for a direct move to an area in which they felt safe, both before Mr Badru left Hackney in 2012 and upon his return to the borough in 2016. ‘On each occasion the family decided not to take up the offers made. ‘We were very sorry to hear of Mr Badru’s tragic death earlier this year and are now working closely with Mrs Badru to look into the difficulties she has faced since her son passed away and offer any support we can. The senior leadership of the Council is taking an active interest in resolving Mrs Badru’s housing situation.’
The Met Police responded A spokesman said: ‘No information or intelligence was provided to the officer investigating the rape matter that Abraham was being threatened or at risk at the time. ‘Threats were made to the rape victim and arrests subsequently made for witness intimidation. ‘Measures were taken at court around another two witnesses to allow them degrees of anonymity. Witness care and protecting evidence were taken extremely seriously and any threat to those was acted upon when information came to light. ‘Abraham’s family later requested to move home; police provided a letter of support, understanding their role in this high profile case. ‘The Met takes the safety of witnesses extremely seriously and can offer a number of measures to assist them in giving evidence. We would encourage any witnesses to a crime to come forward and speak to us and allow us to explain how we can support and protect them throughout the process.’