The case against a man accused over the fatal shooting of a young father in a crowded nightclub has been suddenly dropped.
Mark Gordon, 40, of Brixton Hill, Brixton, was due to stand trial at the Old Bailey on Monday for the murder of 28-year-old Keeno Harris and possessing a firearm with intent.
Mr Harris died in hospital two days after apparently being shot during a large fight at the Function Rooms nightclub on Brigstock Parade.
Police had been called to reports of the disturbance to the Thornton Heath club, at about 5am on November 27 last year.
A short time later, Mr Harris, from Croydon, arrived at a south London hospital with a gunshot wound police believe he suffered during the brawl.
At a brief hearing at the Old Bailey, prosecutor Philip Evans QC offered no evidence against Mr Gordon and judge Nicholas Cooke QC formally found him not guilty.
Mr Evans said that the prosecution team had spoken to Mr Harris’s family about the decision but offered no reasons in court to explain why the case had been dropped.
Mr Gordon, who appeared via video link from jail, was asked by the judge if he had heard what had happened and he responded: “Yes, sir.”
In March, Kurt Ellington, 41, of Kenley, south London, pleaded guilty to having an imitation firearm at the club on the night of the shooting and was sentenced to seven months in prison.
In January, detectives renewed their appeal for witnesses to come forward as Mr Harris’s family held a memorial service for the father-of-one, who lived in Croydon but had grown up Brixton, and worked as a painter and decorator.
Detective Inspector John Massey, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command said at the time: “His family has been left completely devastated, especially his mother and daughter.
“There were a number of people present during the early hours of Sunday November 27, and I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have either seen men present in possession of firearms at the venue or saw the altercation which resulted in Keeno being shot.”
Mother Jackie Harris, said: “It is very hard on me, although it is not just hard on me alone because my son has a daughter and the night he died it was her birthday.
“This has definitely left an impact on us all. I don’t understand how someone can fire a gun into a crowded place like that. We as a family need answers so please if you have any information that could help us and the police you must come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8721 4868. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting www.crimestoppers-uK.org.