Brit nominee Pa Salieu jailed for Coventry violent disorder

2 months ago 30

Pa SalieuImage source, Rosie Matheson

Image caption,

Rapper Pa Salieu has been nominated for a Brit and was named the BBC's Sound of 2021

Award-winning rapper Pa Salieu has been jailed for his part in "mob" violence shortly after the fatal stabbing of his best friend.

The artist was captured on CCTV using a tree branch to repeatedly hit a lone 23-year-old man in Coventry in 2018 who spent 10 days in hospital.

Salieu previously admitted violent disorder and was jailed for 33 months.

During wider violence, Fidel Glasgow - grandson of Specials singer Neville Staple - was stabbed to death.

Nobody has been charged with the 21-year-old's murder following a music event at Coventry's Club M in the early hours of 1 September 2018.

Salieu, who was named the BBC's Sound of 2021, was cleared of a second count of violent disorder at Warwick Crown Court, relating to the mass brawl minutes earlier that led to Mr Glasgow's death.

Image source, Family handout

Image caption,

Fidel Glasgow, 21, died in disorder in Coventry city centre in 2018

The 25-year-old from Hillfields, appearing in court under his full name Pa Salieu Gaye, was convicted of possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon after telling jurors he smashed and brandished it to defend himself.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Peter Cooke said: "Anyone harbouring the view that you are a young man being hard done by should pause to reflect that despite having a conviction for carrying a knife three years earlier - which resulted in a suspended sentence - in the course of these events you used two bottles and a stick.

"It was your intention to turn a bottle into a jagged weapon."

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

'Pack mentality'

The judge added that Salieu and others involved in the violence had acted like a "mob".

"The case illustrates the dangers for any young man of acting with a pack mentality and getting involved in mass disorder," he said.

"If you do that somebody is likely to end up seriously injured or dead.

"What happened to Fidel could have happened to anyone in that melee."

Salieu was one of six people sentenced at the court on Friday.

Prosecutor Oliver Weetch said Ikemefuna Okosisi-Ezeanyika, known as Bobby, was chased away from the scene of Mr Glasgow's murder by a group including Salieu.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Pa Salieu was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Friday

CCTV showed the rapper using a piece of wood to strike him, before he was brought to the ground in nearby Queen Victoria Road, near Coventry's inner ring road.

He was also seen hurling a bottle and climbing railings as Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika was pursued.

Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika was treated in intensive care after suffering a brain injury and needed emergency surgery on a wound to his abdomen.

In mitigation, defence barrister Jonathan Woodcock said the death of Mr Glasgow was not the only time he had lost a friend.

He stopped another defendant attacking the victim and "was not party to the most serious aspects of the violence," he added.

The attack on Mr Okosisi-Ezeanyika occurred after those "running him to ground" had witnessed him being attacked near Club M, the judge said.

Salieu was sentenced to 27 months for violent disorder and six months to be served consecutively for possession of an offensive weapon.

The judge added: "I want you to focus on getting your life back on track... coming out and making the most of your talents, which I trust you will be able to do."

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