An up-and-coming music artist from Tower Hamlets has been jailed for 14 years after conspiring to murder the 15-year-old mother of his unborn child.
Brandon Jolie, 19, of Bow, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Friday along with Kingsley Ogundele, 19, of Romford, who was sentenced for 18 years.
The pair had plotted to murder the 15-year-old victim from Lewisham after Jolie found out she was pregnant with his baby, as he was worried that this would affect his emerging career.
During what has been described as a light-hearted internet conversation, the two discussed the implications of having the baby. Jolie said: “I don’t care if she lives or dies because the consequences of her having a child are too big for me to handle.”
Prosecutor Vivek D’Cruz said: “Ogundele and Jolie perceived this to be nothing more than an irritating inconvenient problem. A problem that simply had to be eliminated.”
A plan was then hatched in which Jolie lured his victim to Regents Canal, where Ogundele attacked her from behind. He hit her over the head numerous times, with what was believed to be a metal pole, and then punched and pushed her into the canal, where she was held under water.
She told the court: “Lots of water went down my throat. I couldn’t seem to get up. I think he was pushing my head down.”
A male passer by, tour guide Andrew Hall, heard her screams and ran to help, pulling her out of the water. She was then taken to a north London hospital where she was treated for minor head injuries. Mr Hall was commended for his bravery at the Old Bailey.
On the road to fame
Jolie, who has made an album with chart-topping rapper Tinchy Stryder, composed music used both in a Nike advert, and the British film Adulthood. He also received an FA coaching badge at the age of 15, after playing with the West Ham schoolboy team at the age of 12.
He had been in a relationship with the victim until he found out she was pregnant. He tried to persuade her to have an abortion, but she decided to keep the baby.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder. In a letter to the victim, who has since given birth to a healthy baby boy, he said: “I am writing this letter to tell you personally how sorry I am for causing you pain.
“My only explanation is I was backed into a corner and acted irresponsibly and immaturely”, he continued. “I am thankful you were not seriously hurt. I wish you good luck in the future.”
His barrister, Garry Green, told the court that he had felt ‘swamped’ by the situation.
“By the age of 17 he had become a respected producer. He was effectively about to be catapulted from an almost complete ignorance of girls into fatherhood. What was otherwise a rational, sensible, intelligent man lost the plot”, he said.
In summing up, Judge Worsley QC said: “You intended that not only would she die but her unborn baby would die too. The best years of your life are to be spent behind bars. This offence is not only a tragedy for the victim and her family but for your family too.”