Murder accused 'boasted in rap lyrics of stabbing rivals', court hears
PUBLISHED: 17:05 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:34 30 April 2019
A man accused of killing teenager Hasan Ozcan boasted in raps of stabbing rivals, a court has heard.
Kareem Lashley-Weekes, 21, of Newham, and a 16-year-old boy are accused of hunting down and “butchering” 19-year-old Hasan on February 3 last year.
The pair were allegedly part of a Dagenham-based group which was prepared to use violence to settle a score with a group from a nearby Barking estate.
After Lashley-Weekes was arrested, police found images “mocking” the victim and lyrics of two rap songs saved on his mobile phone a few days after Hasan's death, the Old Bailey heard.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said the raps “boasted of stabbing rivals and taking on the opposition”.
He told jurors: “It will be for you to decide whether the images and the lyrics are simply thoughtless bravado on Lashley-Weekes's part or whether in fact they reveal his true character and expose the pride he feels in having killed a rival.”
Mr Glasgow told how Hasan was stabbed by three youths on bicycles who had gone to the Gascoigne estate in Barking “seeking revenge for what they perceived to be a loss of respect”.
Just hours before, a youth was stabbed and injured in Dagenham, close to the defendants' territory on Academy Way, jurors were told.
On hearing of the attack, Lashley-Weekes and the 16-year-old along with Jonathan Efionayi, 22, of Dagenham and Kamaal Modest, 22, of Merton, south London, allegedly “sprang into action” at a nearby chicken shop.
Lashley-Weekes and Efionayi grabbed chairs from the restaurant while the youth produced a knife from his jacket pocket, it was claimed.
Mr Glasgow said there was a short “stand-off” between the two groups which ended with the people that had hurt the defendants' friend running away.
A couple of hours later, the two murder accused and a third unidentified man cycled into the rivals' territory, with hoods and masks covering their faces, searching for a target, the court heard.
They allegedly spotted Hasan and his friends in a playground and chased after them.
He was stabbed seven times, despite trying to ward off the blows, and bled to death in a car park.
Mr Glasgow told jurors: “The first two defendants were both part of the armed group that went looking for people from the Gascoigne estate.
“They chased down their target. They produced their weapons and they butchered him.
“It matters not who inflicted which injury, who was armed with which weapon, or even whether they actually took part in the violence.
“What matters is that both of them knew there was to be an attack and both of them played their part in it.”
Jurors were told Hasan, who lived with his family a mile from the estate, was part of the group which had a postcode rivalry with the group from Dagenham.
Mr Glasgow said: “Given the number of injuries Hasan suffered and given the ferocity of the attack, no-one is likely to suggest that he did anything to bring about what happened to him.”
All four defendants have denied violent disorder while the teenage defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted possession of a knife.
Lashley-Weekes and the 16-year-old youth have pleaded not guilty to murder.