Teenage rapper locked up for killing schoolboy

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The Independent Online

A teenage rapper was today behind bars for killing a 16-year-old schoolboy by hitting him on the head with a brick.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the manslaughter of Iyke Nmezu, from Upper Edmonton, north London.

The court was told the two youths rowed about lyrics and insults posted on the internet when they met by chance in Ponders End, north London, on 15 February.

The rapper picked up a brick and struck Iyke on the forehead before running off.

Tragically, Iyke went to two hospitals but his head was not scanned, the court heard.

He deteriorated and collapsed and died within hours of going to casualty for a third time two weeks after the attack.

Iyke's family were said to be angered by his lack of treatment at the second hospital, the North Middlesex, three days before his death on 29 February.

An expert said in a report he could have been saved with at least a 70 per cent chance of survival.

The court heard he died from an abscess in the brain caused by an infection following the head injury.

The defendant, who had no previous convictions, told police he was at the family home before admitting the attack.

He was given four-and-a-half years youth custody. Judge Richard Hawkins told him he accepted he had not intended to kill Iyke.

But he added the use of the brick had been "plainly dangerous".

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said Iyke was studying for GCSEs and hoped to go into football management after university.

The defendant was a keen rap song writer but the lyrics of one of his songs, which mentioned a friend of Iyke's, had caused offence and various insults were exchanged on the internet.

Brendan Kelly QC, defending, said: "It was a moment of madness in anger."

Daryl Palmer, 20, of Thaxted, Essex, pleaded guilty to perverting justice by telling police he was with the defendant in Essex when the assault took place.

He was given two years' youth custody.

A similar charge against Leyton Orient footballer Aiden Palmer, 21, was dropped at an earlier hearing.