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Young artist dead due to gang violence

Source: Evening Standard

 “Dean Pascal-Modeste was not, himself, a member of any gang. Indeed, there is no evidence that his attackers would even have known who he was”, said the prosecutor.


“The murder of Dean Pascal-Modeste has its roots in a poisonous feud between the Splash gang and the B Side gang.

“In other words, Dean Pascal-Modeste was stabbed to death not for who he was or for anything that he had done, instead he was murdered for the company that he kept.”

The court heard the attack happened on February 24, as Dean and two friends with links to the Splash gang were on their way to a recording session when they were “ambushed” by young men on mopeds, including one brandishing a gun, and a group of around six youths who were on foot.

Mr Aylett said the men “came from nowhere” and appeared to be part of a planned attack, singling out Dean as he tried to flee.

“A witness who saw the group running after Dean has described them as ‘running like a pack of wolves’”, he told the jury.

“Dean was hunted down and surrounded. The group of youths crowded around him and attacked him. A number of them, if not all of them, must have been armed with weapons.”

The court heard Dean suffered fourteen stab wounds, including one that punctured his lung, during a “pitiless attack” and died at the scene.

Jurors were told he was “passionate” about making his mark in the music business, and had been working with a production company called London Base.

“A number of the witnesses had been collecting their children from school. This attack, you may think, was as outrageous as it was brazen”, added Mr Aylett.

“This was not a spontaneous eruption of violence brought on by a dirty look or a word spoken out of place. Instead this was a coordinated attack in which a number of those involved were armed either with guns or knives.”

Mr Aylett showed jurors a picture of Tim Westwood posing with members of the B Side gang who had all covered their faces with scarves and hoods.

He said in one of the B Side YouTube videos, it includes the lyric "dip splash till the splash is done", and prosecutors say "dip" means "to stab".

Splash gang had also recorded a 'Crib Session' with Westwood, decrying themselves "Kings of Lewi".

"Such a claim would have put the Splash gang at odds with the B Side gang who also claim to 'run Lewi', meaning Lewisham", said Mr Aylett.

He said the feud appeared to be over "bragging rights" and so-called control of the Lewisham area.

Corey Donaldson, 18, and Alex Scott, 18, both from Deptford, and Uzeome Emeofa, 19, and Devone Pusey, 20, both from Catford, are all on trial accused of murdering Dean.

Donaldson is also accused of possession of an offensive weapon.

They all deny the charges. The trial continues.

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