Date: 21 Aug 2016
Place: Hornsey Rise, Islington
David Robinson was found shot in the head in Sunnyside Road, Archway, North London, on 20 August 2016 at about 9pm following an argument at the Big House Studios 101, a music studio.
He was found collapsed in a doorway and was taken to Whittington Hospital, but died three hours later at 12.10am, on 21 August 2016. His post-mortem concluded that he died from gunshot wounds. He had been shot four times at point blank range.
The police said that they thought that an argument had started in the music studio, and that he had been shot there in the studio or that it had continued outside and he was shot there.
A 62-year-old woman that lived nearby said, 'I heard screaming and shouting. It was terrible. You never see anything like this here. It’s such a quiet road'.
It was said that they thought that there had been seven people in the Big House 101 music studio at the time, but none of them said they saw anything and two of them made no statements.
A 29-year-old man was arrested over David Robinson's murder on 1 September 2016 after walking into a police station in north London, but no charges were made.
The inquest at the Old Bailey heard that the Crown Prosecution Service had tried to bring charges against the owner of the music studio but decided that there wasn't enough evidence to support the charge. It was said that two witnesses had said that the studio manager had been in the studio prior to the shooting and that his mobile phone tracker also put him there. The police said, 'In terms of mobile phone evidence, the recording studio managers phone is seen, according to cell site analysis, to be at the scene at the time. After that his phone moves away from the scene shortly after the shooting occurs.'. However, they noted that he was one of only two people there on the night that had not made a statement about what happened.
It was said that David Robinson, who had previously converted to Islam and become a Muslim some time before, after being involved in crime in his earlier years, had previously been at a local mosque before going over to the 101 music studio in Sunnyside Road at about 9pm.
The inquest heard that the atmosphere in the room had been 'happy' earlier on, but that when one of David Robinson's friends had gone into the room the studio manager had become angry and David Robinson's friend left. It was said then that David Robinson went into the room and was then shot.
It was said that there had been five witnesses to the shooting, but that none of them had identified the gunman including three cousins that had been in the studio at the time. When the coroner spoke of the three cousins, she asked whether they had said nothing out of fear.
The inquest also heard from a firearms expert who said that a fifth shot that was fired had missed David Robinson and had instead become lodged in a building opposite.
As such, the police said that taking that to be true, their submission was that someone in the small studio shot David Robinson and that if they believed corroborative accounts of other witnesses to be true, then the only other person in the room was the studio manager. However, they said that because the other witnesses hadn’t given accounts of the actual gunshots, they deemed that they could not assume that the witnesses were reliable.
It was noted that there was no CCTV evidence.
It was also heard that gun residue that was found on the recording studios manager’s clothes, which was described as circumstantial evidence, was determined by experts to have not come from the weapon used to shoot David Robinson.
The recording studio manager attended the inquest but chose not to answer questions. The coroner asked him a number of questions, but he gave no reply. The coroner then said, 'I can sit here for many hours and ask you questions but I don’t intend to do that if you have decided not to answer any. I put a question to you now that I will ask one more time. There is evidence pointing towards you being the person who shot David Robinson. Did you shoot him?', to which the recording studio manager replied, 'I exercise my right under rule 22 [of the coroner’s rules]'.
David Robinson's mother had attended the inquest and had had the opportunity to question the recording studio manager and she grilled him for 15 minutes, but he refused to answer her questions too, or look at her. She said, 'Can you tell me your name, or is that ‘rule 22’ as well? You’re being very silly. I know you know my son and how. I know what criminal activities you do. Someone gets shot on your premises and you don’t think it’s something you should at least stick around for? You’re carrying on like a guilty man, that’s what I would do if I was guilty, exercise my right. You’re guilty as sin. I thought a man had shot my child. Right now I’m looking at a two-year-old little boy. Do you think this is a joke? Go on, exercise your right again because you think it’s a joke leaving a little four-year-old girl without a daddy. Do you think it’s a joke that when you shot my son my mother died because her heart couldn’t take it? You’re a selfish, ignorant young man. Guns are not a toy. You’ve destroyed not one life but a whole group of lives. You could have had a fight with him. You didn’t have to kill him. I’m sick and tired of black people killing black people like it’s some kind of joke'.
She also claimed that Big House Studios 101 was 'nothing more than a drug house'. She then said, 'All I want is for me to be able to sleep in my bed. To be able to tell that child one day that justice was done. You can’t even say: ‘I didn’t do it. Yes, I know he had criminal activities, but he also had a good heart. He is loved and missed by many. If I can’t get justice I will fight tooth and nail to get every gun off the road. Tell me something so I can give my granddaughter some kind of peace. Give me something, anything'. At that point the recording studio owner said, 'I’m sorry for your loss but I’m a really nice guy'.
David Robinson's mother then said, 'David made me a cup of tea every morning, I got a kiss on my head every single day. I got a hug every day. He helped me with college work. I miss that mother and son time. He used to do my shopping and I miss that. I miss hearing him laugh. I hope and pray for your sake that from now until this is over that you find a little bit of compassion. If you genuinely meant you were sorry for my loss then you will find a way to tell police what they need to know. You’re too young for that kind of life. You should be in school, should get a real job. You will never be Jay-Z so lose the studio and get a real job. I got 25 years with David. It’s not what I wanted but I’m grateful and just hope it doesn’t take that long for me to get justice. Please find a way to put all of us out of our misery'.
When the recording studio manager averted his gaze from David Robinson's mother, David Robinson's mother said, 'Look at me. Yes, I look like David. David looks like me. Remember my face'.
After the recording studio manager told David Robinson's mother that he was a nice guy, David Robinson's mother said, 'If you are innocent then do the right thing. If you are guilty then carry on as you are'.
David Robinson's mother said that her son had been 'assassinated' adding 'That was an execution. That wasn’t murder. Five shots, one miss. That’s an execution. You are trying to make a point. You are trying to enforce something'.
The police described his murder as a 'cold-blooded killing' and added that there had been a wall of silence'. They said, 'Maybe someone knew he was going to be there, It’s not a case of mistaken identity, I believe. It was against a specific target'. The police appealed for the witnesses to 'be brave' and to give up the information they needed to find out who shot David Robinson so that they could convict them.
When the coroner asked the recording studio manager, 'Do you accept that the likeliest explanation is that you were in the studio at the time David was shot and you did indeed shoot him?' he again refused to answer. She also asked him earlier on, for the first time, 'There is evidence pointing towards you being the person that shot David Robinson. Did you shoot him?'. But he again didn't answer. She then said, 'So you don’t deny that you shot him?'.
The recording studio manager was interviewed four times by the police, but on each occasion refused to answer any questions.
At the inquest, the coroner returned a verdict of 'unlawful killing'.
Big House 101 music studio has since closed.
The police said that they had twice passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the case to see if they would prosecute but said that they had decided to take no further action on both occasions.
David Robinson was said to have previously been involved in gang violence but had become a devout Muslim and had turned his life around and changed his name to Dawud.
He had previously been convicted of violent disorder in 2011 and had been made the subject of an anti-social behaviour following a mass brawl in which bicycles were used as weapons.
He was said to have loved rap music and to have been an aspiring rapper.
He was a former pupil of Islington Arts and Media School and had one child.