Nottingham

Drill music row killing: Five detained for Lyrico Steede stabbing

Lyrico Steede Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lyrico Steede died in hospital five days after being stabbed

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.

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Media captionTwo drill music videos were recorded by the rival groups

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."

'Ramboed up'

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's 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."

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Kasharn Campbell (left), Christian Jameson (centre) and Remmell Miller-Campbell chased Lyrico Steede before attacking him
  • 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 offenders 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.
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Media captionLyrico's mother said it was 'the worst thing she could have experienced'

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.

Speaking after the sentencing, she said she had forgiven his attackers but appealed to other young men to step back from violence.

"I forgave them the day that they did it. I haven't been angry," she said.

"I just hope that what I've been through, losing my son, the worst thing I could have ever experienced in my life, that they [young men] take a step back from violence, they realise who they're hurting in the end."

Image caption Lyrico was chased from the park on Hempshill Lane to Stock Well where he was fatally stabbed

Det Ch Insp Hayley Williams said drill music had played "a big part" in Lyrico's death.

"I think there were a number of unreported incidents between Rico and his friends and Kasharn and his friends but by putting the drill rap video on YouTube it became public and ramped it up a level," she said.

"They might start out doing these drill rap videos because they want to be gangsters, they want to be like their favourite drill rap star, but then the threats become more than just lyrics.

"They become real and then there has to be retaliation and revenge, and one group has to go further than the next, and we just have to try and stop this culture."

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Lyrico Steede died five days after being stabbed
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Media captionDrill: The UK's sound of violence?

Both of the videos are still viewable on YouTube. The first has been viewed more than 14,500 times while the second has been viewed more than 81,000 times.

Det Ch Insp Williams said police are doing a lot of work tackling knife crime but appealed to the community for their help too.

"There is a culture amongst urban youths today of carrying knives, of taking part in this drill rap culture, where it appears normal to them to go on YouTube and talk about killing their peers, stabbing their peers," she said.

"I really want the people of Nottingham to work together to tackle this because it's not getting any better and we need it to.

"There are ways of being famous on YouTube without threatening to kill people. There are successful musicians who don't have to talk about killing kids in their videos."

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