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Man spent months in jail after 'vengeful' ex's claims

Interior of Pentonville Prison Image copyright PA
Image caption Benjamin Wallace spent six months in Pentonville Prison awaiting trial for murder

A man spent six months in jail over the shooting of a rapper after his "vengeful" ex-girlfriend told police he had "a boy's brains" on his clothes.

Benjamin Wallace, 33, of Croydon, was due to stand trial for the murder of Akeem Moore, who died on 7 October.

But prosecutors dropped the case partly because the defendant's ex-girlfriend had changed her story.

Mr Wallace had denied murder, attempted murder, possession of a shotgun and perverting the course of justice.

He had spent six months on remand in Pentonville Prison ahead of next Monday's scheduled trial and thanked the judge at the Old Bailey as he recorded not guilty verdicts.

Another lover

Aspiring rapper Mr Moore, who performed under the name Tuggzy, was killed and his friend injured after a man with a shotgun fired at them in a garden in Croydon.

In January, Mr Wallace's ex-partner Florence Roche told police he had asked her to wash his tracksuit because there was "a boy's brains on it".

But the court heard she had since changed "critical aspects" of her story after she told her counsellor she had made the allegations when she was "feeling vengeful" against him in the "immediate aftermath of an altercation".

The Old Bailey was told Ms Roche had also admitted a claim she had been held a "virtual prisoner" by Mr Wallace after the shooting was false and she had actually spent the weekend with another lover in London.

The prosecution said she had not retracted a further claim that her former partner had paid £5,000 for someone else to kill Mr Moore, but added her "credibility" as a witness was now tarnished.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Akeem Moore was shot dead in Eastney Road, Croydon

The court heard there were also further doubts about other evidence against Mr Wallace including a number of alternative suspects who could not be eliminated.

Mr Wallace had denied murder, attempted murder, possession of a shotgun and perverting the course of justice over a reported robbery two days before the killing.

The judge formally recorded not guilty verdicts in relation to the shootings and ordered the charge of perverting the course of justice to lie on file as Mr Wallace had already spent six months in prison.

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