A teenager accused of murder has admitted he dealt drugs and associated with gang members but denied he had anything to do with the shooting of Leon Maxwell, who was gunned by a pillion passenger on a moped.
On Tuesday 18 May at the Old Bailey in London, Kaleel Nyeila, 19, was asked by his barrister whether he was part of the gang that killed Maxwell.
He replied: “No. I was not involved at all.”
Nyeila is on trial along with Abdi Karama, 18, from Leyton, Armani Ogilvie-Pitt, 18, from Harrow, and Samuel Agyeman, 18, who have all pleaded not guilty.
Jury Told Of Gang Rivalry
The jury has been told Maxwell’s murder was believed to be linked to rivalry between the Queensbury Boys and the Greyset Gang.
Nyeila admitted in court he associated with the Greyset Gang, who hailed from Wealdstone in north west London, but he said he knew nothing of any rivalry with the Queensbury Boys.
Under cross examination by prosecutor Catherine Pattison, Nyeila said he started out, aged 15, as a “runner” for a gang in Rayners Lane and earned around £200 a week taking cannabis to customers.
Ms Pattison asked him why he did it and he replied: “I was foolish and I wanted to earn money.”
Nyeila said he later became a dealer and earned up to £400 a week but had “problems” with older members of the Rayners Lane gang after a dispute about some drugs and moved to Wealdstone, where he began dealing cannabis with the Greyset Gang.
Carried Knife To 'Protect Himself From Robbers'
He said when he was 15 he began carrying a lock-knife to protect himself from people who might want to steal his drugs.
Ms Pattison said: “Knives can kill people can’t they?”
Nyeila replied: “If you use them but I have never used a knife in my life ever…killing was not on my mind.”
She asked him if any of his friends had ever been killed or injured.
“Yes, more than I can count on my fingers,” replied Nyeila.
Lost Three Friends To Violence
She then read out a list of names and Nyeila confirmed they were friends of his who were killed - Che Labastide-Wellington, 17, also known as Grimz, who was killed in 2015, Hussein Ahmed, 19, who had the street name Sparts, stabbed to death in November 2016, and Quamari Barnes aka Q-Dotz, 15, stabbed in January 2017.'
Ms Pattison then asked Nyeila about a number of images and videos which were found on his mobile phone.
They included video clips of him sitting on a moped and giving a gun sign, making a firing motion to the camera on the street and driving through Queensbury.
He said they were posted on Snapchat.
Ms Pattison suggested the videos and images had a sinister motivation and were designed to goad the Queensbury Boys but he denied he was aware of any gang rivalry and said: “My generation are always taking video and posting it on social media. I know it looks pointless.”
The trial continues.