Bristol graduate told “you’re dead meat” before being shot

A former Bristol footballer was bombarded with threatening messages, including “you’re dead meat”, before being shot. The messages were revealed as part of an inquest into the death of Abraham Badru, a former Almondsbury FC striker and Bristol City Council worker.

Abraham was killed at around 11pm on Sunday, March 25, 2018, after being shot in the street in Hackney, east London. His death remains unsolved, but the inquest has uncovered some shocking messages sent to him.

His grief-stricken mother told the inquest that years after stopping a gang rape Abraham was bombarded with terrifying messages, including the one that said “you’re dead meat.”

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It follows an incident that happened when Abraham was just 14. He was handed a bravery award for going to the rescue of a woman who was being seriously sexually assaulted. He later gave evidence in court against the suspects who he had known while growing up in East London.

He spent the rest of his life living in fear of retribution from those he helped to convict. This included staying indoors, covering his face and changing his name.

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 today: “Abraham was receiving messages saying ‘You’re dead meat’, ‘You’re a snitch’. He was so scared, he stopped going out.” His car was also vandalised years later, she said, which further worried her son.

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Mrs Badru said she originally begged police not to make her young son give evidence 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 out of fear for his life but returned to London for work after completing his Master’s degree in 2016, and then went by the name “Prince”.

The night he died, 26-year-old Mr Badru was on the phone to a woman when he was fatally shot as he unloaded items from the boot of his car, shortly after 11pm.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Bennet told the inquest: “She (the woman on the phone) described hearing a number of loud bangs, then hearing the sound of screeching tyres. She was completely unaware of what had taken place.”

Mrs Badru wiped tears from her eyes as coroner Mary Hassell read witness statements that confirmed her son was pronounced dead at the scene, with gunshot wounds to the chest and thigh.

Police said the gang-rape suspects all had alibis for the night Mr Badru was killed, while other lines of investigation – including relating to the women he was speaking to in the months before he died – drew a blank.

Mr Bennett said: “We still haven’t, to this day, identified any links to the murder or any motive. We couldn’t find anyone who had a particular grudge or vendetta against him. It has just been a wall of silence in relation to the murder investigation.”

The inquest continues.

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