Sidique Kamara, 23, who was high up in south London’s Moscow 17 music gang, was stabbed to death in Camberwell on the evening of August 1 last year. He is pictured in an Instagram post on July 17
A knifeman who said he accidentally stabbed the drill rapper Incognito to death after being robbed of his fake Cartier watch has been cleared of murder.
Sidique Kamara, 23, who was high up in south London’s Moscow 17 drill music gang, was stabbed to death in Camberwell on the evening of August 1 last year.
The Old Bailey heard Kenneth Umezie, 32, pulled out a lock knife after his watch, a counterfeit Cartier, was taken.
Mr Kamara, the father of a four-year-old girl, was pronounced dead at the scene in Warham Street around 40 minutes after the altercation.
The Old Bailey heard Umezie ran into Mr Kamara, and a youth who cannot be identified, on a nearby housing estate.
Trouble flared between the trio, with CCTV appearing to show Mr Kamara and the juvenile, who were out selling drugs, trying to rob Umezie of his watch.
‘The defendant’s response to the trouble was to get hold of a knife and go on the attack,’ prosecutor Timothy Cray said.
Umezie pulled out a lock knife and chased Mr Kamara, who was unarmed, out of the small side street they were in, across a nearby park and into a neighbouring road, the court heard.
The pair briefly faced off before the powerfully-built Umezie ‘lunged towards Mr Kamara’ and stabbed him twice as he lay curled up on the ground, jurors were told.
Mr Kamara was able to get up and stagger a short distance along the street but soon collapsed as a result of the two major wounds – one of which pierced his heart.
Relatives of the victim tie flowers to a lamp post near to the where the rapper was killed on August 1
Despite the arrival of emergency services who treated him at the scene Mr Kamara died from blood loss and shock less than an hour after being knifed.
But Umezie told jurors he only gave chase to get his stolen watch back.
He insisted he pulled his blade out in self-defence and was unsure whose knife eventually caused the fatal wounds, adding that he could only have done so accidentally during a struggle on the ground.
Jurors deliberated for almost 12 hours before finding Umezie not guilty of both murder and manslaughter.
The court had heard how Mr Kamara and the youth ‘were out together selling drugs’ and regarded that part of the estate ‘as their particular turf’.
Mr Kamara, being the elder of the two, ‘was the more senior man’.
‘In fact, all of the evidence points to the fact that he was high up in a local gang which goes by the name of Moscow17,’ the prosecutor said.
Mr Cray told jurors that the teenager, ‘maybe because of his youth and therefore lower status’, was armed with a large Rambo-style knife so that he would ‘take the rap’ if the pair happened to be stopped by the police.
He faces trial in due course charged with robbery and GBH with intent after stabbing Umezie during the same incident.
Like the juvenile, jurors heard Umezie was also ‘powerfully-built’ and was older than the other two. He had earlier been to visit a friend in the area.
Police on Warham Street in Camberwell shortly after Mr Kamara was stabbed to death
Just before the confrontation he appears to have called a number connected to Mr Kamara.
Within moments CCTV footage shows Mr Kamara gripping Umezie’s arm whilst the teenager looks on, focussing on his watch.
The youth can then be seen placing the timepiece in his pocket once it had been removed, the court heard.
Mr Cray said: ‘At this stage it looks like the other two were trying to carry out some sort of robbery on this defendant, because his watch gets taken.
‘Whether this was a drug deal that turned into a robbery or whether, just by chance, the defendant ran into two drug dealers who thought they could rob him, we’ll probably never know.’
Umezie, of Camberwell denied murder and manslaughter and was cleared of both charges.