James Scobie QC and Joanne Cecil secure an acquittal at the Old Bailey in multi-handed gang murder of music producer

Friday 24 November 2017

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On 24 February 2017, Dean Pascal-Modeste (21), known as ‘Floss’ and an aspiring music producer was stabbed 14 times and killed after being chased to his death, by a group of young men on mopeds and on foot armed with guns and knives. The stabbing took place in broad daylight in a residential area and was said to be the result of a gang feud between the B-Side gang and rival Splash/STR8 gang in Lewisham, South East London.  The feud and stabbing were played out in You Tube videos featuring the DJ Tim Westwood. Both gangs had taunted each other in the videos.

The murder was set against a background of serious tit for tat attacks, some of which had resulted in murder and other serious injury.  The jury heard how several members of both gangs had been killed previously.

The antagonism between the two gangs had increased in the days preceding the killing of Dean Pascal-Modeste. On 21 February 2017, a member of the B Side gang had been sentenced to 22 years for the attempted murder of a young woman who had switched allegiances from the B Side gang to the Splash gang.

Three days later on 24 February 2017, Dean Pascal-Modeste met up with two of his friends, Keanu Noble and Gabriel Tavarez, who were affiliated to the Splash/STR8 gang.  They travelled together to the Chinbrook Estate in Grove Park. At the same time another group (the ‘defendants’ group) were also on the estate.  The defendants’ group included individuals alleged to be affiliated to the B Side gang.  There had been trouble earlier that day between other members of the Splash gang and the defendants’ group on the estate.

The Prosecution alleged that Dean Pascal-Modeste, Keanu Noble and Gabriel Tavarez were seen arriving on the estate by the defendants’ group and targeted in a planned revenge attack.  The defendants’ group was seen on CCTV walking through the estate following the route Dean Pascal-Modeste and the other two had taken.  One of the group, Corey Donaldson, could be seen walking with a large knife held out in front of him.

Shortly after arriving, Dean Pascal-Modeste and Keanu Noble, who by that time were sat on a wall outside an acquaintance’s house, were chased by boys who arrived on mopeds.  One driver was armed with a gun.  As they ran, the defendants’ group appeared and joined in the chase.  The group was armed with guns, knives and other weapons. The prosecution case was that the boys on mopeds and those on foot were working together to orchestrate an “ambush on two fronts”. They were described as “running like a pack of wolves”.

The group caught Dean Pascal-Modeste and surrounded him.  Dean Pascal-Modeste was stabbed at least 14 times, resulting in his death.  A number of knives were recovered from nearby gardens.

Uzoeme Emeofa was alleged to be one of the attacking group and was represented by James Scobie QC and Joanne Cecil of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team. Uzoeme Emeofa accepted being in the area and with the group up until the seconds before the attack, but said that he had ran away after seeing the male on the moped produce a gun.  The case involved extensive cell site, phone billing analysis, forensic evidence and the piecing together of CCTV footage, along with ANPR.

Uzoeme Emeofa was acquitted on 17 November 2017 following a seven week trial at the Old Bailey. Two other defendants, Corey Donaldson and Alex Scott were convicted of murder.

The case has been reported widely in the media including in the Guardian and Evening Standard.

James Scobie QC and Joanne Cecil of Garden Court Chambers were instructed by Saadiya Ahmed of Dexter Henry Solicitors.

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