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Alleged South Norwood drive-by killer tells court: "I was trying to make peace"

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AN alleged gunman accused of shooting dead an aspiring rapper has claimed his best friend framed him as the killer. Sanchez Thomas, 19, is said to have shot Umar Tufail, 25, in a drive-by shooting in revenge for a gangland stabbing. The Old Bailey heard that Thomas, a member of south London gang Squeeze Section, wanted to get even with Umar's brother Amir, who is alleged to have stabbed him during a fight in Tooting in March 2012. Thomas, who claims he spoke to Umar in hope of resolving the issues he had with Amir, told the court on Wednesday that the killing had been carried out by someone with the street name 'Pauser', a member of Croydon gang Don't Say Nothing (DSN). "Pauser shot him," he insisted. "It was a terrible incident. I was incredibly shocked. I was just trying to make peace." He added: "Someone else killed him and I got the blame." Kyrone Daley is also said to have been responsible for the 'deliberate execution' in Wharncliffe Road, South Norwood, on July 15 last year. In a statement read to jurors, the 19-year-old, a passenger in the car, said his "life-long friend" Thomas pulled the trigger, a claim his co-defendant denies. Asked why Daley should implicate him for something he had not done, Thomas said: "I don't know. He was my friend. He saw each other every day." It is claimed that as Thomas got into his mother's grey Vauxhall Corsa to drive to Wharncliffe Road he put an item under the seat. Thomas pulled up next to Umar's car and reversed in front of him to block him in, the court has heard. But he insisted: "There was no item. That's not correct. I drove away, but Pauser shot him." After the shooting Thomas drove back to his home in Unity Close, West Norwood, then he and Daley took a minicab to a friend's house in Fulham. Asked why he did not go home after the incident, Thomas said: "I wasn't ready to face the police. I panicked. There was a lot going through my head." Police traced Pauser but found he had a "cast iron" alibi. After Thomas was told he claimed to have been referring to another Pauser, also in DSN. The court has previously heard that Amir, a member of Croydon's Block Cartel gang, immediately believed he was the gunman's intended target because he had "a lot of enemies". Daley and Thomas, both of Unity Close, deny murder.

Alleged South Norwood drive-by killer tells court:


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