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Sasha Johnson: Trial against four men accused of shooting campaigner in the head collapses

Mother of two and equal rights campaigner Sasha Johnson continues to receive hospital treatment nine months after the attack and is in a “serious but stable” condition.

The trial of four men who had been accused of shooting race campaigner Sasha Johnson in the head at a party has collapsed.

Ms Johnson, 28, had been at a silent disco for a 30th birthday party in a garden at a property on Consort Road in Peckham, when she was shot just before 3am on 23 May last year.

She continues to receive hospital treatment nine months on, and is in a “serious but stable” condition.

Prince Dixon, 25, of Gravesend, Kent; Cameron Deriggs, 18, of Lewisham; and Troy Reid, 20, and Devonte Brown, 19, both of Southwark, were all charged with conspiracy to murder.

Sasha Johnson remains in hospital. Pic: AP

They also denied charges of firearm possession with intent to endanger life.

The case was due to go to trial on 7 March, but an Old Bailey hearing on Tuesday heard from the prosecution that the Crown would not be pursuing the case.

Judge Mr Justice Hilliard was told by prosecutor Mark Heywood QC that he was unable to give the full reasons for the case falling away.

However, he outlined the case, saying it concerned a “deliberate shooting” at the address in Peckham, and that the Crown alleged the four defendants were known to each other and had carried out surveillance before the attack with “murderous intent”.

Mr Heywood added that there had been a “falling out” between Deriggs and Brown and the two 18-year-old occupants of the house, which had recently had a panic alarm installed.

Access to the property on the day of the shooting was restricted by security at the side of the house, and one of the attackers was carrying a handgun, likely a Glock, loaded with 9mm bullets, the court was told.

Mr Heywood said: “During the confrontation a single shot was discharged from the weapon after a re-load.

“That discharged round struck Sasha Johnson, then aged 27, at very close range.

“Ms Johnson was present as a close friend of the family living there. She was then in a relationship with the oldest son.”

He added that the case against the four men was based on “circumstantial evidence”, and there was no direct evidence that identified any of them.

Core evidence came from contact with each other, their movements and phone data, the court heard, with Mr Heywood saying the Crown was “duty bound” to consider the tests within the prosecutors’ code that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges “with a realistic prospect of conviction” and that the case was in the public interest.

“It has become absolutely clear to the prosecution that it is no longer possible to say the full test required by the prosecution code remains satisfied as it must be if this is to proceed to trial,” he said, offering no evidence.

“For very good reasons, it is not possible to set out in full in open court the reasons it is so, but it should be understood the relevant considerations have been given the most anxious and careful scrutiny.

“That scrutiny has been reviewed at the highest level within the CPS.”

The court was told the information surrounding the case in private to allow it to better understand the background.

Ms Johnson, 28, is an original member of the Taking The Initiative Party, and was a prominent figure during 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement.

She was not believed to be the intended victim of the shooting, police have said previously.

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