Croydon rapper cleared
A rapper whose brother was stabbed to death four years ago has been cleared of stashing cocaine and guns at a friend’s flat.
A jury required more than seven hours deliberation to clear Patrick Kingonzila, Bedser Close, Thornton Heath, of charges of possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and possession of Class
A drugs with intent to supply at the Old Bailey on Friday.
Mr Kingonzila, who raps under the name Face Squeeze, was accused of hiding 62.86g of cocaine at the home of friend Nicole McIntosh, 22, in Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath.
The court was told his fingerprints were found on bags containing the drugs, hidden under Miss McIntosh’s bed during a raid in February this year.
The 29-year-old, denied any knowledge of the bags, or a hand gun also found in the house and argued he could have handled the bags before they were used to store drugs.
Mr Kingonzila, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the victim of double heartache in 2008 when two of his brothers were killed within a year.
Younger brother Oliver, a promising footballer, was stabbed to death outside a night-club following a dispute with a former friend over a girl in September 2008.
His older brother Herve had died in February 2008 aged 27 from a heart attack while playing football.
His family's heart-break was key to a decision by the Home Office to repeal an order to deport Mr Kingonzila in 2009 after he served a six year jail sentence for burglary.
Andrew Pelling, Croydon Central MP at the time, was a staunch supporter of Mr Kingonzila in his bid to remain in the UK.
Following a two week trial the jury were unable to reach a unanimous decision and were given the opportunity to pass a majority decision, clearing the rapper, Miss McIntosh, and a third defendant Lawrence Oyewole of all charges.