Fresh appeal to trace betting shop killer

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The Independent Online

Police renewed an appeal today to trace the murderer of a 16-year-old boy who was gunned down in a betting shop.

Louis Brathwaite was shot in the stomach at the William Hill bookmakers in Mauldeth Road West, Manchester, on the evening of January 29, 2008. He died in hospital 12 days later.

His mother, Sophia, urged the public to come forward to help solve the killing of her son who would have celebrated his 19th birthday today.

A reward of £50,000 remains on offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Louis's killer.

In March, two men were jailed for life at Manchester Crown Court after they took revenge for the murder of their friend, Louis, by killing Giuseppe Gregory, also 16.

Giuseppe was shot dead in a pub car park in Stretford, Manchester, when the car he was in with friends was sprayed with bullets by rival gang members.

Detective Inspector Dave Cooney, from Greater Manchester Police's Major Incident Team, said: "Almost two and a half years on, the pain for Louis's family is still as raw today as it was the day he died.

"No amount of time can ease the pain for Sophia and the rest of Louis's family and friends.

"Despite a full and thorough investigation, we still need the evidence that can bring justice for Louis's family.

"To the gunman's associates and accomplices, I would ask you to think long and hard about the horrendous pain and suffering you have put Louis's loved ones through.

"If that is not enough to motivate you to help us, think about the reward of £50,000.

"We need your help to put this cold-blooded killer behind bars and, if you are prepared to do the right thing and talk to us, we will do all we can to protect your identity and help you get a clean start."

The gunman was black and between 5ft 7in and 6ft. He was dressed in dark clothing with his face covered. He fired five shots before fleeing with a second man.

It is believed the men escaped in a black VW Golf, with a registration similar to WG07 YXY.

Another man, aged 18, was also shot but has since made a full recovery.

Louis's mother, Sophia, said: "Louis was a real family boy and we all feel his loss even more on occasions such as his birthday, which he should be celebrating today with me, his brothers and sisters and the rest of his family and friends.

"I think about what he might be doing and wonder whether he would have gone on to university or started work.

"As his mother I will never get to know because someone has taken him away from me.

"Louis, we love and miss you. Happy birthday."

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 0161 856 2446, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Information can also be sent via the GMP website at http://www.gmp.police.uk