Abraham Badru was only 14 when he rescued a woman who was being sexually assaulted. He lived in fear and was shot at the age of 26
A personal trainer shot dead years after a gang rape was stopped has been bombarded with threatening messages warning him “You are dead meat,” his grief-stricken mother said during her inquest.
Abraham Badru was just 14 when he received a bravery award for coming to the aid of a woman when she was seriously sexually assaulted, and later testified in court against the suspects, whom he had known growing up in East London.
But he spent the rest of his life living in fear of reprisals from those he helped convict, staying indoors, covering his face and changing his name.
He was shot outside his home in Hackney on Sunday March 25, 2018, although his murder remains unsolved.
Ronke Ali Badru, Mr Badru’s mother, said the threatening messages began days after the rape suspects were arrested, telling St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Monday: ‘Abraham was getting messages saying ‘You are from dead meat”, “You’re a snitch”.
“He was so scared that he stopped going out.”
Her car was also vandalized years later, she said, which further worried her son.
Ms Badru said she initially pleaded with the police not to force her young son to testify against the rapists, but said she was told she would be charged with perverting the course of justice if she intervened.
Her son moved to Bristol to study for his A-levels in fear for his life, but returned to London to work after completing his masters in 2016, then calling himself ‘Prince’.
On the night of his death, Mr Badru, 26, was on the phone with a woman when he was shot and killed while unloading items from the trunk of his car shortly after 11 p.m.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Bennet told the inquest: “She (the woman on the phone) described hearing a number of loud bangs and then hearing the sound of tires screeching.
“She was completely unaware of what had happened.”
Ms Badru wiped tears from her eyes as coroner Mary Hassell read witness statements confirming her son was pronounced dead at the scene, with gunshot wounds to his chest and thigh.
Police said the gang rape suspects all had alibis for the night Mr Badru was killed, while other lines of inquiry – including relating to the women he spoke to in the months before his death – made a blank.
Mr Bennett said: “We have not, at this time, identified any links to the murder or a motive.
“We couldn’t find anyone who had a particular grudge or vendetta against him.
“It’s just been a wall of silence in relation to the murder investigation.”
The investigation is continuing.