Joel Adesina trial: Man cleared of murdering Dagenham teenager
- Credit: Archant
A man accused of taking part in the murder of 15-year-old Joel Adesina was acquitted on Friday.
Lincoln Olaribigbe, of Regents Court, Hoxton, walked free after prosecutors failed to prove the 23-year-old was in a blue Mercedes alleged to have cornered Dagenham lad Joel moments before he was fatally stabbed in Bethnal Green on December 5 last year.
The case against Mr Olaribigbe rested on him being present in the car with defendant Georgie Phillips, 20.
Judge Stephen Kramer QC told jurors at the Old Bailey that evidence brought before the court over the last few weeks did not demonstrate that he was.
“The prosecution always put him in the blue Mercedes for a realistic prosecution on the charge of murder,” he said. “You heard the evidence of the last few weeks.
“[Defence attorney Anthony Orchard QC] now says he cannot with any certainty place Mr Olaribigbe in the area in question.
“There’s insufficient evidence for the prosecution to continue to seek a conviction against Mr Olaribigbe on the charge of murder.”
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Olaribigbe had pleaded not guilty to murder along with Phillips, of Hood Walk, Romfordn, who is still on trial and gave evidence on Friday.
During questioning, Phillips told the court that on the day of the stabbing he had been selling cannabis in Suffolk for Olaribigbe.
He admitted driving the blue Mercedes said to have cornered Joel, of Wood Lane, but said he was “unaware of any knives” being carried by any of the five people in the car.
“I had been caught with a knife before and I know if I get caught again I will be going to prison,” he said, telling the court he had only once carried a three-inch flick knife when drug dealing alone in Suffolk, adding: “I have never carried a knife since that day.”
Joel’s friend Adam Meragan, 19, previously told the court that someone got out of the Mercedes and dragged Joel away to be stabbed. But Phillips told the court that he had at no point left the car, saying: “I never got out of that car once.”
Phillips, who served six months for dealing heroin in 2014, said he switched to selling cannabis when he came out of prison because it carried less risk.
The Mercedes was found by police burnt out on December 7. Phillips, who was driving the car without a license, has admitted involvement in its destruction.
The trial continues.