The manhunt to find David Ungi is finally over as the baby-faced murder suspect was caught and arrested in Malaga.
Ungi, now 30, was arrested in Coin, Malaga on Thursday evening as he entered a gym at a shopping centre. Spanish authorities, the National Crime Agency, Merseyside Police and the North West Regional Organized Crime Unit all worked together to detain the murder suspect.
Ungi was last seen seven years ago leaving the UK on a ferry less than 24 hours after 18-year-old Vinny Waddington was murdered in a street execution. Vinny was hit with a single shotgun blast on Banks Road, Garstonas he rode pillion on a scrambler bike on July 14, 2015.
Fueled by adrenaline, Vinny was able to jump over a garden fence before collapsing and dying of catastrophic chest injuries, while the rider, Francis Humphries, escaped with his life – albeit bleeding from multiple pellet wounds. Twomen, Luke Kendrick and Ryan Bateare a small way into their life sentences for his murderwith another two decades to go before they have any chance of parole.
But even with two dangerous killers locked up after a trial at Liverpool Crown CourtVinny’s family have only received partial justice so far.
Emergency services rushed to Banks Road in Garston at around 8.45pm on July 14, 2015, following reports of a crash between a gray Audi and a scrambler bike. Once at the scene officers found Vinny in a garden on the road with catastrophic chest injuries.
He was taken to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital but was pronounced dead a short while later. On July 15 police said the shooting was a “cold-blooded targeted attack”.
DCI Gayle Rooney, said: “The investigation is in its early stages and extensive inquiries are being carried out to establish any potential motive and to identify those responsible. This was a cold-blooded, targeted attack on a residential street which has taken away the life of a young man.
“The people responsible for this attack knew exactly what they were doing. These people need to be caught – a young man, who should have had his life before him has been killed and his family are now faced with coming to terms with their loss. “
They added the offenders were believed to have run off towards Blackburn Street, or through the industrial estate.
Vinny was described by his family as “not the type to go out and cause trouble”, with his dad saying, “When Vincent died I died with him”.
Ungi spotted on CCTV at Dover Ferry Terminal
David Ungi jnr, 24 at the time of the shooting, was spotted on CCTV cameras just 18 hours after Vinny’s murder. Footage captured him as he leisurely strolled through Dovery Ferry Terminal, and he was believed to have traveled to Amsterdam.
The footage led detectives to believe he could be involved, and a manhunt was launched by Merseyside Police and the National Crime Agency. The NCA described Ungi as “a very dangerous person” and urged anybody who knew where he was to get in touch with them.
Vinny Waddington murder trial
Ryan Bate and Luke Kendrick were agreed unanimously by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court after denying the murder of Vinny, who was knocked off a scrambler motorbike and shot in Banks Road on July 14. Bate was sentenced to life with a minimum of 24 years in prison, while Kendrick received a 25- year minimum award.
In front of a packed public gallery, judge Mr Justice Timothy said we would “never know” who was driving the car which struck Vinny and who fired the fatal shot. He said: “No words of mine can express the grievance and sense of bereavement suffered and that will continue to be suffered by his family at his untimely death.”
The prosecution said the fact the murder was in public and in broad daylight were aggravating features. Prosecutor Nigel Power, QC, said: “Whether this was strictly gang activity or not, acting in fear of violence has to be balanced against the overall background here.”
The court heard victim impact statements which described Vinny as “not the type to go out and cause trouble”, while a letter from his college said the 18-year-old was “polite, respectful and intelligent.”
Among the statements read was one from Vinny’s father, who said: “When Vincent died I died with him. When I close my eyes the nightmares come.”
Speaking from the dock, Kendrick said: “I can’t be a*** listening to all this.” When led out of court during a break in the sentencing he smiled and held his thumbs up to the family of the victim.
The court was told Kendrick had 25 previous convictions for 44 offenses, and had been released from prison two weeks before the murder. His first conviction, for criminal damage, came when he was just 12 years old.
Bate was a convicted heroin dealer who was locked up for three years in 2012 for possession of cannabis, heroin and cocaine and also has convictions for criminal damage and drugs possession, as well as aggravated vehicle taking. That was his first detention, in 2010.
Defense barrister John McDermott, QC, representing Bate, said his client was not “the prime mover” in planning Vinny’s death. He asked the judge to “temper” the sentence as far as he could.
Defending Kendrick, Charles Miskin, QC, said his client had a “shockingly poor childhood” with “a long and complex history of trauma, substance abuse and disorder.”
He suggests Kendrick’s personality traits “disrupt all areas of his life.”
Ungi finally caught seven years on
David Ungi was caught and arrested by police in Malaga after seven years on the run.
On Thursday, May 6, Ungi was caught as he entered a gym at a shopping center in Coin, Malaga. Officers found a 9mm Ruger firearm and ammunition in a rucksack. Ungi is also wanted in connection with the supply of heroin in the Liverpool area.
Extradition proceedings are underway after he appeared at court in Malaga yesterday and was remanded in custody.
Steve Reynolds, National Crime Agency regional manager in Spain, said: “Ungi is a very dangerous person and his arrest is good news for communities both in Liverpool and Spain. These arrests would not have been possible without close cooperation between police forces in the UK and our law enforcement colleagues in Spain and Portugal.
“There are still a number of fugitives on our most wanted list, and they should know we will never give up and we’re never far behind them.”
Detective Chief Inspector Cath Cummings said: “Merseyside Police remains relentless in its pursuit of criminals and will leave no stone unturned. We will continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies, both in the UK, and overseas to trace those wanted for carrying out the most serious offenses and bring them to justice.”