Entertainment

Rap star Pa Salieu seen armed with bottle during music event violence, jury told

The 24-year-old denies possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon and taking part in disorder which saw his friend fatally stabbed.

Award-winning rapper Pa Salieu was part of a group that chased and cornered a man during violence which saw the star’s best friend fatally stabbed, a court has heard.

Warwick Crown Court heard that Salieu and three other defendants are not charged with any offence arising from the death of 21-year-old Fidel Glasgow in Coventry city centre in 2018.

The 24-year-old singer and his three co-defendants, 25-year-olds Michael Mistouflet, Meidel Dange and Adil Naseer, deny taking part in violent disorder in Junction Street and Hertford Place during which Mr Glasgow was fatally injured.

Neville Staple grandson murder
Fidel Glasgow (West Midlands Police/PA)

The 24-year-old singer, the winner of the BBC’s Sound of 2021 award, also denies possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon in the same streets, while Mistouflet denies possessing a belt as an offensive weapon.

Jurors were told Salieu, Mistouflet and Naseer have all admitted a separate charge relating to violent disorder which occurred after the man being chased, Ikemefuna Okosisi-Ezeanyika, escaped across Coventry’s ring road and made his way into Queen Victoria Road.

Opening the case for the Crown on Tuesday, prosecutor Oliver Weetch said Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika was chased at about 5am on September 1 2018, as around 300 people left Club M following a performance by Nigerian-born singer Mr Eazi.

During the Crown’s opening against Salieu, who is standing trial under his full name of Pa Salieu Gaye, it was alleged that video evidence appeared to show him hitting Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika over the head with a bottle in Queen Victoria Road.

Mr Weetch said the Crown did not know why Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika, known as Bobby, and so many other people became involved in the “serious and obviously tragic” incident.

The music event went off without any serious incident but violence erupted outside the nightclub, the court heard.

Mr Weetch said: “Bobby, it appears, became the centre of attention for a large group of loosely connected males.”

Neville Staple grandson murder
Pa Salieu (Jacob King/PA)

Describing CCTV footage of Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika being cornered near a car, the barrister added: “At that point there are so many people involved that it is impossible to see what exactly happens.

“During the course of what happened by the white Vauxhall, Fidel Glasgow received a single stab wound to the lower part of his abdomen.

“He can be seen staggering away from the car – he very sadly died that same day of that stab wound.

“Despite an extensive police investigation it has not been possible to charge anyone in connection with the death.

“The CCTV footage is simply too unclear to determine precisely how Fidel Glasgow was fatally injured.

“The four defendants, it must be emphasised, are not charged with any offence arising from Fidel Glasgow’s death. At least some of them are Fidel Glasgow’s direct friends.

“What these defendants are charged with is the violent disorder which broke out that night.

“The prosecution say it (CCTV evidence) shows each of these defendants using or threatening unlawful violence.”

Mr Weetch said CCTV showed Salieu had visited a different club earlier with a group of people including Mr Glasgow.

The footage showed Salieu attacking a section of fencing near Club M and then attempting to smash a bottle on the ground, the court heard.

Mr Weetch said: “Immediately before the confrontation with Bobby in Junction Street, Mr Gaye had been walking about holding a bottle.

“He is in fact restrained by some security staff.

“Mr Gaye gives chase with many others. He appears to bend down during the course of the violence that happens.

“We say he is clearly present when violence is being used and threatened.”

Following his arrest, the court heard, Salieu told police Mr Glasgow was his best friend and then exercised his right to silence.

Salieu, of Hillfields, Mistouflet, of Binley, Dange, of Henley Green, and Naseer, of Foleshill, all Coventry, have been told their trial is expected to last for up to four weeks.

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