In the dock: Three convicted after Bright Akinleye was killed during drill rap music shoot

Katherine Johnston (10 March, 2020)

Two found guilty of murder, and Bromley man convicted of manslaughter

28094Victim: Bright Akinleye

A man from Kennington is one of three convicted of killing Bright Akinleye during a drill rap music shoot in Euston.

The 22-year-old sports management graduate from Lewisham was fatally stabbed in Starcross Street on February 18 last year while making a music video.

The attack was orchestrated by a friend of Bright’s rivals after a series of threats escalated on social media, with some messages even being shared from inside prison.

The court heard that Bright, a drill rap manager, had been involved in a long-running dispute with some members of a family based on Aylesbury Estate.

Two of the three associates – Abdoullie Ceesay (of no fixed address) and Tashawn Brewster from Kennington – were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Monday (March 9).  The third, Oliver Petts from Bromley (b. 04.01.1990), pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The prosecution said 28-year-old Cessay saw Bright shooting the video and used the chance encounter as an opportunity to plan an attack, enlisting Petts and Brewster.

During the attack Bright tried to escape and ran into the nearby Wesley Hotel where he collapsed and died in the foyer, surrounded by paramedics.

There were three stab wounds to both thighs, and slash wounds across his hands from trying to defend himself.

A ‘Rambo’ style knife was found next to him and a trail of blood led to where his attackers had fled by car.

The court was told that Brewster, aged 21, from Kennington Park Road, was identified after his DNA was found on the weapon’s handle and on a pair of trainers covered with Bright’s blood that were recovered from a nearby flat.

A day after the attack, Ceesay stopped using his mobile phone and Petts disposed of the Mercedes, used as a getaway car, the jury heard.

Catherine Gould, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a targeted hit, planned after chancing upon Bright during the recording of a music video.

“There was no reason for the defendants to involve themselves in what had been a dispute between Bright and others.

“However, Ceesay saw this as an opportunity to win some favour with his friends by launching an attack on Bright when he was outnumbered and defenceless.

“This stabbing was an ambush and insofar as Brewster is concerned, we have no evidence that he had ever previously met the man whose life he so cruelly put an end to.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Bright Akinleye at this difficult time. I hope that these verdicts provide a sense of closure.”

All three will be sentenced on March 26 this year.

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