Chris Summers, BBC News, February 25, 2005
A rap fan who shot a father of three and wrote a song based on the lyrics of rapper 50 Cent about it has been jailed for 25 years for attempted murder.
David Gaynor, 19, was found guilty of shooting David Mullings in the head in front of his wife and child in north London after a row about a damaged car.
Mr Mullings, 32, had been left severely brain damaged, the Old Bailey heard.
Simeon Szypusz, 19, was also jailed for 25 years for his attempted murder.
In addition, Szypusz received a three-year sentence — to run concurrently — after being found guilty of making threats to kill.
And Gaynor received a 20-year sentence — to run concurrently with his 25-year term — for possessing a firearm.
Judge Kenneth Zucker described Gaynor as an “evil, callous and dangerous man”.
When Gaynor — known to friends as G — was arrested police found lyrics which he had written: “I’ll kill u in front of your family, G, I knock down family and family trees till there’s no branches left.”
When prosecutor Bobbie Cheema asked Gaynor if the lyrics were his own, he replied that he had adapted them from a song by controversial rapper 50 Cent.
The court heard that the residents of Meridian Walk in Tottenham had been plagued for months by loud noise and other anti-social activity emanating from one house inhabited by a “problem family”.
Mr Mullings’ wife, Jennifer, said the teenagers were drawn to the estate by a pirate radio station which broadcast from a nearby house.
As a result, she said they endured sleepless nights from loud music, screams and shouts from rowdy youths smoking cannabis.
On the morning Mr Mullings was shot she had told him they had to move as she had been made ill with headaches and lack of sleep.
The final straw had come one Sunday morning in May 2004 when a stolen car was crashed into Mr Mullings’ Honda, badly damaging the bumper.
A large gang of men was hanging around outside the “problem” house but Mr Mullings, described as a carpenter and caring family man, was not perturbed. He came out into the street, with his wife and his stepdaughter and confronted the drivers of the car.
He demanded to know who was going to pay for the damage and was not pacified by the gang’s promises to pay him when he had got an estimate.
Szypusz, claiming to have been “disrespected”, then made a phone call and called in Gaynor.
A masked Gaynor arrived, walked up to Mr Mullings and fired a shotgun at him, blowing a large hole in the back of his head.
Mrs Mullings told the trial: “I looked and my husband put his hand to his head and went down. He was hit in the right hand side of his head.”
Miraculously he survived the shooting but had to undergo an operation to remove part of a bullet from his brain. He is now out of hospital.
Gaynor’s lyrics, scrawled on the back of a letter from his local Jobcentre, also include the line: “U wanna die like Scarface, I’ll be dat mad one dat kill Scarface. Give us a taste of da pump [pump-action shotgun] and a scar on your face.”
Gaynor — who has distinctive green eyes — was picked out on an identity parade and was placed at the scene, along with the others, by mobile phone evidence.
He claimed he thought the gun was a replica when he pulled the trigger.
‘Glorified in rap’
Mrs Mullings said: “The lowest point of the trial was hearing that the person who has admitted to blasting our lives apart, has sat down and glorified his actions in a rap.
“It is sickening to hear the line ‘I’ll kill you in front of your family, G, I knock down family and family trees’. I had to leave the court when I heard that.
“To glorify such actions in rap rips my soul apart, yet still he has the audacity to say he was sorry.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Housing Association said the “problem family” had since been evicted from the house in Meridian Walk.
It is believed they have been rehoused elsewhere in London.