Public schoolboy gets life for 'gangster' hit

Rupert Ross had dressed as a lawyer to carry out the hit outside Wandsworth prison
Click to follow
The Independent Online

A former public schoolboy who "lost sight of reality" as he revelled in living as a gangster has been jailed for life for murder.

Rupert Ross, from Fulham, west London, waited for Darcy Austin-Bruce to arrive at Wandsworth prison to visit an inmate before pulling out a gun and shooting him five times.

Ross, 30, who went to private Dulwich College, had noted in his diary that he was was "living a gangster lifestyle, making good money and living a fast life" but was yesterday told by Judge Martin Stephens that he will stay behind bars for at least 30 years.

He had dressed up as a besuited lawyer to carry out the hit so that he could mingle among them as he waited for Mr Austin-Bruce, 20, to arrive. He wanted him dead after falling out in a row over drugs and previous gang shootings.

After opening fire Ross, who was wearing a bike helmet, leapt on a stolen moped driven by accomplice, fireman Leon de St Aubin, 34, from Fulham, who was also sentenced to life with a minimum of 30 years.

Judge Martin Stephens told the killers at the Old Bailey: "When a situation arose that you thought required revenge by killing, you carried out this monstrous attack. You both carried out a well prepared and meticulously-planned execution of a man who had become your enemy."

During the trial Crispin Aylett, QC, for the prosecution, described the murder as one of "breathtaking audacity" and said: "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."

Ross had got involved with drugs and been in trouble with police from the age of 16. He has convictions for theft, burglary and drugs offences.

Stuart Trimmer, QC, for the defence, 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."

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Brian Lucas said: "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."