Four indicate not guilty pleas over shooting of black equal rights campaigner

·1 min read

Four men charged over the shooting of black equal rights campaigner Sasha Johnson at a 30th birthday party have indicated not guilty pleas.

Ms Johnson, a mother-of-two, was left in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head during a silent disco in the garden of a house on Consort Road in Peckham, south London, just before 3am on Sunday May 23.

On Friday, four men appeared before Judge Mark Lucraft QC at the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh jail.

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

During the hearing, the defendants spoke only to confirm their identities.

Sasha Johnson shooting site
A tent in the garden of a house in Consort Road, Peckham, after the shooting of the black equal rights activist (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Lawyers representing the men indicated they would deny the charge against them, although formal pleas were not entered.

Judge Lucraft set a further case management hearing for November 5 at the Old Bailey.

The judge, who is Recorder of London, suggested a date for a six-week trial would be fixed at the next hearing. He said that the court would be actively seeking to get the earliest possible trial date.

He also indicated the case would be heard either by one of the two most senior Old Bailey judges or a High Court judge.

The defendants were remanded into custody.

Ms Johnson, 27, is a founding member of the Taking The Initiative Party and had been a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement last summer.

Police have said previously they do not believe she was the intended victim of the shooting.

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