Abraham Badru lives on: 10 years after he saved a young girl from being gangraped, he was brutally gunned down
The quiet churchgoer was always afraid since that day that he was going to be murdered for intervening
Abraham Badru was a man with a target on his back ever since 2007 when he jumped in and saved a young girl from being gangraped by a bunch of thugs. He was only 14 years old at the time. For 10 years after that fateful day, he was never at rest. He was always afraid something was going to happen.
The brave man gave an accurate account of the incident to the police after it happened and also ID'ed the would-be rapists in an ID parade shortly after arrests were made. He also gave evidence against them at the trial that was held.
He didn't even think too much of it when he started receiving text messages in the middle of the night saying he was a "dead man". It's to be expected after all. In situations like these, it's you against a ruthless gang of idiots who only believe that what they do is right and everyone else is wrong.
But Badru was a hero to not only that young girl but also to many others. Many came forward and called him a hero for his courageous actions. The judge at the trial even have him £500 as a reward for taking the stand against the attackers. He was also given the National Police Bravery Award and all the senior officers who were present gave him a standing ovation. This was in 2007.
Flash forward to 2018 and Badru had lived the past decade as quiet and polite churchgoer but there was always something at the back of his mind that told him someone was going to try and kill him for the crime he had stopped.
Unfortunately for the university graduate, that day came on March 25, 2018, when he was murdered.
26-year-old Badru had just reached the home in Hackney, east London, that he was living in with his mother Ronke, a little after 11 p.m. He was just getting out of his car to go inside when a mysterious attacker gunned him down. One of the neighbors heard gunshots and tried to revive Badru. The police and paramedics tried as well but to no avail.
Badru died at the scene of his murder and his devastated mother had to be restrained by another neighbor while people were trying to save his life.
Ronke had told the Daily Mail in a very emotional interview earlier this week: "I ran to him but the police wouldn’t let me go to him. I was crying, screaming, for my son."
"For ten years, Abraham was afraid that someone would try to kill him. And now it has happened. I am empty. He was killed for being a hero. How can that possibly be right?"
A large array of bouquets along with a photograph of Badru now sit at the site of his death. He was one of the victims in London's on-going knife violence epidemic. The hero was the 10th victim of the violent knife and gun crimes that took place in just 12 days across the capital.
Killing people now seems to be a usual thing in the streets of London because of a rash of shootings, stabbing, and violence in general. Badru's only involvement in this disgusting gang culture is the time he stood up to one of the gangs and saved the life of a schoolgirl in the process.
The authorities even told Badru's mom that it was because he intervened that the girl was still alive from the attack that took place on the Frampton Estate in 2007.
A community worker who had been in Hackney for a long time told the Daily Mail: "This is the process, the protocol now — revenge. They have a code. Snitching is snitching. They are like a society within a society, with their own rules."
The publication met up with Badru's mother, Ronke, to find out more about him .
Ronke, a 50-year-old support worker for people with mental health issues, knew that her son, by doing something so brave, had ended up paying the price for his actions. She and Badru's father, a Nigerian politician by the name of Dolapo Badru, are seperated but Badru was still close to his father and visited him when he had holidays.
Badru as a boy was very bright and performed well in his classes. Although he knew members of the of the Kingzhold Boys gang, a group whose only motive in life is to be a nuisance, Badru himself was not one of those boys.
On April 30 afternoon, the then-14-year-old boy got a call from one of his friends inviting him to a party in a flat that was located in a high-rise building. After he got there, Badru realised that the party was not so innocent. He came across a scene that was horrifying.
Badru reportedly walked down one of the corridors and stumbled across a gangrape scene with an innocent girl trapped in the middle of nine boys. The news was later revealed that the girl was being punished for disrespecting O'Neil Denton, a 14-year-old member of the gang with the name "Hitman".
One of the victims friends was actually in a relationship with Denton at that time and had wanted to end it. The victims only fault was that she had agreed with her friend.
Denton and his gang of hooligans had captured the girl as she was walking home from school. For two hours the girl was dragged around to three different locations and gang raped at each one with some of her attackers being just 13 years old.
The girl spoke about the incident in an interview after the trial: "One of the gang pulled out a knife and told me if I didn’t do what they wanted, they would stab me up. They were pushing it into my throat. I was crying and pleading with them."
"One of them told me to take off my tracksuit bottoms or he’d put me in hospital. I was shaking so hard. I was only just 14. Mum had only just started letting me go out close to home on my own. When I wouldn’t take my bottoms off, the ringleader punched me in the eye while the others kicked my legs and lower body."
"They punched me, kicked me, smashed my head against the wall, stripped me and slammed me onto my back. They were surrounding me, laughing and whooping. There were so many grabbing at me, pulling my clothes off. I’d reached the point of giving up. I really thought I was going to die."
It has been reported that there were at least five witnesses at the scenes of the crime but they did nothing to help her. She was finally taken to the flat in Hackney that Badru was called to. She remembers the boy reaching the flat and telling her to run while he block the escape route so that the attackers couldn't get to her.
She said: "He seemed to command some respect from them — and he gave evidence at my court case. I’m so grateful he saved me."
The heroic boy did not tell his mother what had happened and she only found out about it when the authorities showed up to the front door two days later.
Ronke said: "They asked for Abraham. He’d just come home from school. The police said a girl had been raped, but Abraham had not been among the gang who’d committed it. He’d rescued the girl. If he hadn’t done what he’d done, the girl would have died."
He told her everything after that and she remembered: "When he saw what was going on, he’d walked in the flat and mouthed to the girl, “Are you forced?” and the girl nodded. She had tears in her eyes. He blocked the door while she ran out and then ran after her. As soon as they were a safe distance away, he told her to phone her dad and he came to get her."
The CCTV cameras that were set up around the block was the system that helped the cops in their investigation into this brutal crime. Badru also helped out by identifying the nine boys at an ID parade.
Ronke said: "They were saying things like, they would kill him. He would be a dead man. We had eggs thrown at the door."
Initially, the mother did not want to give consent for Badru appearing at the trial because of her fears that something might happen to him but then the police said that she would be charged with perverting the course of justice so she relented.
Badru testified and the nine boys, which included O'Neil Denton and his companion, Weiled Ibrahim, were convicted after the trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December 2008.
Denton and Ibrahim will not be getting out of jail and the other boys all got sentences that ranged from 9 years to 2 years and 5 months. Badru received a £500 reward for bravery from the judge. A year after that he got a letter from the police that told him he was going to get a National Police Bravery Award.
Ronke recalled: "Abraham and I went to Manchester. When Abraham got up to receive his award, the Superintendent, the Commander, everybody, were all on their feet."
It was around this time that mother and son were moved to another house in the same area for safety but Badru was always worried that the gang would come for him with a vengeance. So he moved to Bristol to continue his school studies.
On the day that Badru was murdered, he had been spending some quality time with his father in the afternoon. His father was visiting from Nigeria with Badru's half-sister, Wendy. He reached him a little after 11 p.m. and was opening the boot of his car when he was attacked.
One neighbor who had heard the gunshots ran down the street and found the now-26-year-old lying on the ground. One of the other neighbors immediately dialed 999 and they started giving him CPR.
Ronke said: "I ran outside. The police were there and they wouldn’t let me near him. I was shouting, "I’m his mum". I wanted to hold him and pray for him."
"I was taken off somewhere in a police car. I saw the ambulance go past. Then they changed me to another car. They put me in the back, between two officers. I kept asking, “How is he, how is he” and then the lady in the back with me said, "Madam, he didn’t make it"."
"I jumped out of the car and I was rolling about on the ground. I wanted it to be me they’d shot. I remain empty inside."
The coroner released Badru's body last week for the burial. His devastated mother is now planning the funeral of her son.
The authorities are looking for other motives as well behind Badru's murder. Revenge is something they are keeping as an "active line of inquiry" but they are looking at other possibilities as well. The shooting could have also been a tragic case of mistaken identity or maybe something in his private life we are yet to discover.
However, Ronke still believes "in her heart" that the motive for her son's murder was definitely revenge and that the gang he had implicated all those years ago is behind it.
The police are offering a £20,000 reward to anyone ho has information on a cyclist who was seen entering the alleyway moments before the shooting. There was also a man who ran away from the car and another man who rode away in a bicycle with a white frame.
Although the authorities are doing everything in their power to stop the violence in the city, people like Badru's mother are the ones who ultimately suffer. She says that her son was let down by the justice system even though he had once put all his faith in it.
She concluded: "The girl was given a new identity, a new life, she was protected, as was her right. But Abraham should have been given the same protection."
"He was a victim, too."