Rapper guilty of plot to kill girlfriend

Pregnant 15-year-old was lured to isolated canal / Performer was worried that child would harm his career
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The Independent Online

A teenage rapper who lured his pregnant 15-year-old girlfriend to an isolated canal, then watched as his friend tried to drown her, was jailed for 14 years yesterday. Brandon Jolie hatched a plan to kill the teenager with his friend Kingsley Ogundele because he feared a child would stand in the way of his burgeoning stardom on the grime music scene, the Old Bailey heard.

The following month Jolie lured the girl by phone to a quiet spot beside the Regent's Canal in Islington, north London, where his friend was waiting.

Ogundele, who was sentenced to 18 years, hit her over the head with a metal pole and despite her cries of "Please don't, I'm pregnant", pushed her into the canal and held her under the water.

Her life was saved by a passer-by who chased off the attacker and pulled her out of the water. She later gave birth to a healthy boy.

Ogundele, 19, of Romford, Essex, was convicted of conspiracy to murder by an Old Bailey jury. Jolie, of Bow, east London, earlier admitted the charge.

Judge Paul Worsley told Jolie also 19: "When you discovered that your 15-year-old girlfriend was pregnant and she was going to tell your mother you decided that she should abort that child.

"When she refused, you, together with Ogundele, decided that she should be eliminated. You feared your mother would cut off your student allowance, your blossoming music-producing ambitions would be frustrated and your lifestyle would be severely disrupted.

"Those selfish concerns gnawed away at you and you explained your problems to Ogundele. Ogundele suggested she should be eliminated. Together you decided that she should be murdered, with her unborn child."

The victim – who cannot be named because of her age – was six months' pregnant, and "desperate that her unborn child should know his father", said the judge. On the day she thought she was meeting Jolie she was waiting for him by the canal "cold and frightened" before Ogundele hit her with the pole and pushed her into the freezing water.

The judge told Ogundele: "You held her head under the water. She felt she was going to die. One of her memories as she went under was the grin on your face as you pushed her under." He called the victim a "bright, attractive girl" who had recovered physically but suffered "long-term psychological distress".

The judge added: "I do not overlook how vulnerable she was."

He awarded £500 to Andrew Hall, the passer-by who saved her, saying: "Instead of passing by on the other side he tackled this young man, who ran off.

"Mr Hall did not know that he himself would not be the subject of an attack. By his action he saved the life of [the girl] and her unborn child."

The court heard that the victim and her mother were uprooted from their London home because they were in fear. The girl said in a statement that she suffered nightmares and no longer trusted boys. She feared leaving the house without her mother and said she never wanted Jolie to see her child. "How can I explain to my baby when he grows up that his father tried to kill us both just because I was pregnant?" the girl said.

Garry Green, for Jolie, said he was from a high-achieving family. His mother was a hospital administrator and his brother a manager at an investment bank. Mr Green said Jolie was a respected music producer and had been starting a four-year degree in TV production at Bedfordshire University in Luton.

The court heard that his music had been used in a film called Adulthood as well as on EastEnders, and he had also recorded a track for Nike.

During a webchat about the murder plot, he told Ogundele: "I don't care if she lives or dies because the consequences of her having a child are too big for me to handle." His friend assured him: "I will fucking kill her."

Detective Inspector Helen Williams said after the verdict: "If it wasn't for the courageous intervention of a passer-by I strongly believe this would have been a murder investigation."