Here’s a story you don’t read every day. Elliot Omozusi, once a promising young full-back with Fulham, was jailed for two and a half years today after being found guilty of witness intimidation at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Omozusi, who had been playing for Leyton Orient, was one of a gang of six men who chased a man, who had given evidence that had to led to the killers of Agnes Sina-Inakoju being jailed for life. Sixteen year-old Sina-Inakoju was shot dead in an east London pizza restaurant last April. The witness, who can’t be named for legal reasons, helped police find the killers – Leon Dunkley and Mohammed Smoured – after his house was ransacked following the shooting.
The witness ran to police officers after a chance encounter with the gang members on a night out in Liverpool last May. They chased him from outside a nightclub until they were stopped by an on-duty police officer. Omozusi, who was wearing a shirt emblazoned with ‘London Fields’ – the name of the gang connected with Agnes’ shooting – when he was arrested, claimed that he ‘was just having a laugh’. It was an excuse the police – and the jury – didn’t believe.
It all seems a far cry from Omozusi’s Fulham career. He looked a real prospect when he emerged from the club’s youth team as a tall and attacking defender. He made his debut in the League Cup defeat by Wycombe in September 2006 and made his first start for the club at Leicester in the FA Cup. He made his first league start in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland in October and, the following week, saw him create a crucial second goal for Clint Dempsey in a vital 3-1 win over Reading. He was, however, sent off for a second bookable offence in injury-time. Omozusi went on to make nine appearances that year, before falling down the pecking order when Roy Hodgson replaced Lawrie Sanchez as manager.
He had loan spells at Norwich and Charlton, before being released by Fulham in January 2010. He joined Leyton Orient, initially on trial, and went on to make 62 appearances for the O’s before his trial.
…very sad to hear this, I thought Omo had a really promising career ahead of him, he looked calm and self assured, the Reading game (I seem to remember Les Barrett coming onto the pitch at half-time to celebrate his 60th birthday) in which he was sent off he played a blinder and the sending off was cruel. Also I seem to remember against Newcastle where we lost in the last minute he was actually the only player who actually seemed to want to attack, and went on a mazy run through the center, sadly he gave away a penalty that led to the barcodes win.
Nevertheless I thought he had latent quality. Shame on him giving it all away…