Five young people have been sentenced for their part in the killing of a 17-year-old boy amid a dispute fuelled by a YouTube drill music video.
Lyrico Steede, 17, was lured to a park in Nottingham after he appeared in a rap video mocking his attackers. While he lay dying in hospital, the man who stabbed him appeared in a response video bragging about violence.
Two of the killers were found guilty of murder while three were found guilty of manslaughter.
During their trial, Nottingham Crown Court heard Lyrico, known as Rico, was ambushed on 13 February last year after meeting up with a female defendant at the park on Hempshill Lane in Bulwell. Prosecutors said she had “lured” and “trapped” Lyrico after exchanging messages on Snapchat, and waited until her co-defendants arrived to attack him.
He ran away and was chased through the streets, but tripped up and was repeatedly stabbed, leaving him bleeding heavily with wounds to his face, chest and leg. After seeking help, he was taken to hospital, where he died five days later.
The court heard Lyrico had featured in a drill music video where he and his friends rapped about “the Athlete Gang”. This was an “insulting nickname” given to defendants Kasharn Campbell, Christian Jameson and Remmell Miller-Campbell, the court was told.
Mr Justice Lavender, sentencing, said: “You were called athletes by people who suggested that you ran away from fights.” While Lyrico was in hospital, Campbell featured in another drill music video, singing violent lyrics which echoed the attack.
One line said: “Anyone screaming Athlete Gang gonna get ramboed up.”
The judge said: “Lyrico Steede was one of the people who had called you and your friends the Athlete Gang, and on 13 February he did get ‘ramboed up’, that is to say, stabbed.” There had been “bad blood” between two groups of young men, the judge said, and they expressed themselves through drill music. “It is not for me to express a view about your, or anyone’s, taste in music,” said the judge. “But this is a case about stabbing, and so much of that music is about stabbing.”
Kasharn Campbell, 20, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence with a minimum term of 21 years. The judge said he stabbed Lyrico and had done so many times that he must have intended to kill him.
Christian Jameson, 18, from Kirkbride Court in Chilwell, was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence with a minimum term of 17 years. The judge said he was Campbell’s “right hand man” and was with him when he stabbed Lyrico.
Remmell Miller-Campbell, 18, formerly of Sneinton Boulevard in Sneinton, was found guilty of manslaughter and given nine years’ detention in a Young Offender Institution. The judge said he was “not a leading player” and was not there at the moment Lyrico was stabbed.
A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of manslaughter and given a sentence of seven and a half years’ detention. The judge said he was the last to join the plan and was not there when Lyrico was stabbed.
A 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of manslaughter and detained for six years. The judge said she knew Lyrico would be seriously harmed but the jury could not be sure she intended him to be stabbed.
In her victim impact statement, Lyrico’s mother Keishaye Steede called for action on knife crime. “I pray that this knife crime gets looked at on a larger scale as I would hate to see another mother lose her son,” she said.
Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “The issue of drill videos fuelling violence has been a factor in this case and clearly this is concerning. “While this is not unique to Nottinghamshire, it is something we and our partners are aware of and we recognise it represents another challenge in educating young people against violence and the triggers of violence.”
Ms Meynall said Nottinghamshire Police has the only dedicated knife crime team outside of the Metropolitan Police, and the force would respond to videos that incite violence. “If anyone is aware of videos on social media that clearly promote violence, please let us know so we can investigate,” she said. “No family should have to suffer the heartache of losing a loved one to violence.”