Public school gangster jailed for 30 years

 

A former public schoolboy who wanted to be a gangster was jailed for a minimum 30 years for murder today.

Rupert Ross, 30, disguised himself as a lawyer to gun down a rival outside Wandsworth jail in south London after getting caught up in the drug-dealing underworld.

He wrote in his diary that he was "living a gangster lifestyle, making good money and living a fast life".

But he was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, along with accomplice Leon St Aubin, a 34-year-old fireman.

Both men were jailed for life and each was given a 30-year minimum term.

Ross was from a wealthy background, with some of his family working as lawyers.

He had been a pupil at private Dulwich College but soon fell under the influence of drugs.

He had been in trouble with the police since he was 16 and had convictions for theft, burglary and drugs.

Stuart Trimmer QC, defending, said: "The previous convictions disclose a depressing cycle relating to drugs.

"He had the advantage of a good education, a loving family and a mother who spent time and resources to ensure he did well.

"He has been brought to where he now is as a result of the grip of drugs. It will blight his life and his family's lives."

But Judge Martin Stephens told the men: "You both carried out a well prepared and meticulously planned execution of a man who had become your enemy.

"You both dressed in what would pass as lawyer's clothes so you did not draw suspicion."

The judge said both had taken some steps to sort out their lives in recent times but "when a situation arose that you thought required revenge by killing, you carried out this monstrous attack".

Jurors heard Ross shot Darcy Austin-Bruce, 20, fives times outside the jail in May 2009.

Ross, of Fulham, west London, dressed smartly in a suit to blend in with lawyers paying visits to their clients.

He had been tipped off from inside the jail that Mr Austin-Bruce would be visiting someone inside.

After the shooting in front of visiting families, Ross was sped away on a stolen moped by Leon St Aubin, of Chelsea.

Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, said it was a murder of "breathtaking audacity".

He added: "To anyone who noticed him, the smartly dressed man must have looked like a lawyer making a legal visit to a client in the prison.

"There was, however, something slightly unusual about the man, in that he was wearing a crash helmet he had not removed from his head.

"This was, in the most literal sense, an inside job. The killers had been tipped off by someone inside the prison."

The shooting followed a falling out over a drugs deal and previous shooting incidents.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Brian Lucas said after the case: "These men believed that they could get away with killing a man in broad daylight as revenge for a petty argument.

"I believe that they had lost sight of reality and now face the consequences of their sad and violent choices."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor