A rap star has been cleared of ordering a machine gun murder in Harlesden after it emerged a "WWF wrestling-style" feud was fuelled by a fake Instagram account.
CBiz, real name David Osadebay, 30, was accused of arranging a shooting which resulted in the death of Oliver Tetlow , after a video ridiculing him was uploaded to YouTube.
Mr Tetlow, 27, was killed in a hail of bullets on March 9 last year when the gunman mistook him for a member of the Church Road Soldiers gang.
Mr Osadebay, from Neasden, is popular in the British Grime scene, and was mobbed by fans when he was arrested by police working on the theory he had acted to regain respect in the midst of an online row.
But he and Mohamed Siamino, 20 from Acton , walked free from the Old Bailey after the prosecution case collapsed on Tuesday (January 10).
Experts said a fake Instagram account had been used to make threats on Mr Osadebay’s behalf.
Two other men accused of the murder - 22-year-old Romarne Young from Stafford Road, Kilburn and Jahmico Trott, 28, from Shawheath Close in Hulme, Manchester - had already been acquitted last month after a witness changed his account in court and provided an alibi to their whereabouts on the night of the murder.
Judge Gerald Gordon ruled there was insufficient evidence and directed jurors to find each of them not guilty of murder.
The judge said the witness’s lies had been exposed under cross-examined and continued: “It is fair to say, having been misled by [the witness] through no fault of their own, the prosecution also, it transpires, were misled as to the strength of the social media evidence.”
He explained that against the background of the lack of evidence of planning and the weakened motive, mobile phone evidence also failed to support the prosecution case.
Jurors were told Mr Osadebay’s musical identity revolved around money and showing off expensive jewellery as he appeared in music videos wearing gold chains, heavy rings and up to five watches at a time.
The musician denied his jewellery was robbed in the early hours of Wednesday March 9 as he enjoyed a night out in Tape nightclub, in London’s Mayfair.
But a YouTube video two men bragging about stealing it was alleged to have been the motive for a revenge attack against a member of their gang.
Mr Tetlow was stood on Church Road at the junction with Conley Road at around 10pm on 9 March when he was hit by at least 12 bullets from an automatic weapon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harrowing footage (below) appeared to capture his grief-stricken mother .
The court heard the two men in the YouTube video had links to the Church Road Soldiers and after the shooting was carried out in the heart of their territory, Mr Osadebay was in the frame.
The prosecution relied on messages posted on social media, including an Instagram account purporting to show Mr Osadebay make the threat: “When I see you no Mickey Mouse business!!!!”
But it had been posted by a fake account.
Defence lawyers said police working on the theory Mr Osadebay was motivated by revenge had led to errors in the case.
All four defendants were cleared of a charge of murder.
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