London rapper Cbiz has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with the murder of Oliver Tetlow in a machine gun shooting in Harlesden. The 29-year-old musician – real name David Osadebay – appeared via video link from Belmarsh prison on Friday (9 September) alongside three other men accused of killing accidental target Tetlow in a suspected gang attack in March.
The 27-year-old victim was shot six times on Church Road in a drive-by said to have been sparked by a feud between London rappers. Speaking in the House of Commons, then prime minister David Cameron said Tetlow's murder was a "tragic case", adding "our hearts go out to the family of the person she [Brent Central MP Dawn Butler who brought up the killing during a Prime Minister's Questions session] talked about".
Osadebay – who recently resigned as director of the £R record label – was wearing a dark-coloured top with matching bottoms and sat next to co-defendants Romarne Young , 22, from Stafford Road, Kilburn, Mohammed Siamino, 19, from Acton and 28-year-old Jahmico Trott, from Hulme in Manchester.
The hearing was held to decide who would represent the four at trial after Osadebay and Siamino indicated they wanted to change their defence counsel. It means the pair could be forced to represent themselves if they are unable to find solicitors before 23 September. Indeed, the court was told Osadebay "wishes to answer the court himself".
Judge Mark Lucraft, QC, said there were 133 witness statements and 3,000 pages of evidence relating to the murder, and said "the real core of this case is the usage of telephones" by the defendants. A trial has been set for 5 December, at which Siamino will claim he was not in the car when Tetlow was shot dead.
Siamino, who has twice refused to meet his solicitors at Belmarsh, was warned by the judge that "not playing ball will not hold much ice" when it comes to his application to switch his representatives. The four will next appear at the same court on 14 October.
A mother's tribute
"On the evening of Wednesday, 9 March, my son Oliver Tetlow was shot and killed. It wasn't a killing, it was an execution. This country holds itself up as model of democracy with fair and open trials before judgement is passed. It is transparent so people can see justice being done, and done fairly. An execution of this sort doesn't fit it with the model of this country, and as such it was illegal at any level.
My son was an innocent bystander and was 'accidently shot'. It is a heartbreaking tragedy that any mother or parent will understand. I hope that everyone reading my plea will consider this: Next time it could be a member of your family, or even a close friend. The only way to stop this happening again is for people to come forward and provide information that will see the killer and accomplices brought to trial as soon as possible.
These people claim to have no fear but that do have one overriding fear and that is of being caught. Let's reflect that fear by passing on information that will see them being caught. Providing information in this case isn't a matter of honour, these people do not respect the honour or safety of people, not of their kind. They believe they are a law unto themselves.
Please, please help me and yourselves to bring the killer of my son and the accomplices of the killer to the full justice of this country. My son's death will not then have been in vain, you may save some innocent person, or the life of one of your family or close friends.
I miss my son very much. Our family miss him very much; he was loved and is still loved. I hope you're never put into the awful situation that we find ourselves in right now. Please, please help me, help my family and in turn help provide safety for yourselves and your families in helping us."
Pamela Humphrey, Oliver Tetlow's mother