The mother of an alleged East London yardie gang member, who was shot dead by armed police officers as he sat in his car last week, has told The Whitechapel Whelk that he was, ‘a wonderful, caring person’ who was probably waiting to help elderly ladies across the busy street when cops opened fire.

The dead man, Clyde Benoit, 23, known by friends and associates as ‘Rankin’ Baby Dread’, was hit by 5 bullets fired by an armed police response officer who claims Mr Benoit had reached for a concealed weapon – later found to be a Glock semi-automatic pistol – as the officer approached his vehicle to question him about an armed raid on a post office earlier that day.

An AK47 assault rifle and a large quantity of a Class A drugs were also found in the victim’s car.

His mother, Claudette, 42, told reporters: “He sometimes carried a weapon to defend himself against rival, public-spirited boys from  different neighbourhoods who were jealous of his popularity due to his tireless work with the elderly

“He would often try to help old ladies across the road and I believe he was waiting in his car to do this when the police shot him down in cold blood.

“As for the drugs. He always kept some in the car in case one of the old people fell over and needed pain relief.

“The officers who took my boy’s life are nothing more than cold-blooded murderers in my opinion and I hope they get everything that’s coming to them.”

This latest incident comes just 2 weeks after police arrested an alleged underwear thief in Bow who later claimed that he had stumbled while taking a short cut home through a woman’s back garden and had clung to the washing line to avoid falling, removing 8 pairs of panties and stuffing them into his pockets in the process.