Father is shot dead after months of gang torment

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The Independent Online

A father who was shot after confronting a gang that had been tormenting him for months was found dying by his family.

Peter Woodhams' fiancée Jane Bowden, 23, heard gunfire and rushed out with their son Sam, three, to find him bleeding on the door-step of their home in Canning Town, east London.

The 22-year-old father was shot in the chest soon after he had left his house on Monday to confront a gang that he had clashed with earlier in the day.

It emerged last night that, in January, Mr Woodhams had been attacked by a group of youths and stabbed in the neck.

Miss Bowden claimed the couple had been subject to a campaign of intimidation by a group of youths since the stabbing in January. She said her fiancé had been held down and stabbed in the neck by a gang after he confronted them for throwing a stone at his car. She claimed she had phoned the police every day for five weeks after the attack but they had not even taken a statement.

After Monday evening's confrontation outside a parade of shops, Mr Woodhams drove back home, complaining to his fiancée of "trouble outside". He then went back out, apparently to speak to the youths but, moments later, he was shot.

Mr Woodhams, a television satellite engineer, managed to get back towards his house. Paramedics came to the scene but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal London Hospital.

Last night a senior Scotland Yard officer apologised for "any hurt" that the previous investigation into the stabbing of Mr Woodhams may have caused. Commander Rod Jarman, said: "We will robustly deal with any failings in our investigation of the previous incident and make sure that those matters are dealt with. I would also like to make my apologies for any hurt that that investigation may have caused the family."

A Scotland Yard spokes-man said of the initial incident: "Officers carried out an investigation; this included taking a statement from the victim, any CCTV identification, witness appeal boards and possible photo identification. No arrests were made.

"Officers from the Specialist Crime Directorate have been liaising with the officer from Newham borough to establish the outcome of this incident. Establishing the facts and any links it may have to Peter's murder is a priority."