Rapper and gang member jailed for seven years
A criminal gang member from South London has been sentenced to seven years after being convicted of possessing a loaded revolver while in an Uber.
Jyrelle O’Connor, also known as the London-based rapper ‘Loski’, was convicted on Wednesday 04 January after a five-week trial at Croydon Crown Court.
The 23-year-old rap artist, was also part of the Kennington-based criminal gang, the Harlem Spartans, who have been involved in violent turf wars with other gangs in South London.
One such turf war between gangs is thought to have led to the attempted murder of an innocent teenager, James Bascoe-Smith.
A jury found O’Connor guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing a firearm when prohibited for five years and possessing ammunition for a firearm when prohibited for five years. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years each for the lesser offences. All sentences will run concurrently.
O’Connor was seen getting into an Uber under a false name in April 2019. Police officers then stopped and searched the car along the A40.
Analysis of the revolver showed that the O’Connor’s DNA was on the area of the gun used to load the ammunition.
Laura Hoon, CPS Prosecutor said: “Criminal gangs such as the Harlem Spartans are using drill music and social media to promote gang culture, glamorise the gang lifestyle and the use of weapons. Thanks to the police and prosecution team, we now have a dangerous individual and criminal gang member in prison, and a loaded firearm and ammunition off our streets. This strong sentence from the judge shows that crime doesn’t pay, no matter how well known or influential the individual may be.”
Following the conclusion of the trial, Detective Constable Snazell, from the Mets Specialist Crime Command said: "This has been a trying and challenging case with many twists and turns, but I'm pleased the jury found O'Connor guilty of his crimes and I'd like to thank them for seeing through his lies and excuses. I have no doubt that O'Connor, or his gang associates, would have used this revolver in the future and by finding and destroying it we have taken a lethal weapon off the streets and potentially saved a life. As part of the trial the jury heard how fascinated O'Connor was by guns and gang lifestyle and on his phone he had been running numerous Google searches for firearms and ammunition in the months prior to his arrest. O'Connor was an influential individual and had many followers on social media. No amount of fortune or fame justifies his serious criminal actions”.
David Malone, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, who now leads the CPS response to Gangs and Serious Violence in South London and the City, said, “We are taking head on the problem of criminal gangs in London and serious and organised crime on our streets. These cowards have no place in our community and they should know we will never stop fighting to bring organised criminals to justice until the fight is done”.
Notes to editors
- Jyrelle O’Connor: DoB 06/05/1999 of Farham Common
- David Malone is the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London South, who now leads the CPS response to gangs and serious violence in South London and the City. In November he spoke on the steps of the Central Criminal Court about the high media profile and despicable gang attack on an innocent teenage boy
- Laura Hoon is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court Unit in CPS London South.
- Detective Constable Snazell is the Officer in the Case based within the Metropolitan Police Service Specialist Crime Command
- The London South Crown Court Unit is a dedicated team, serving the South London, Westminster and City of London communities, prosecuting a wide range of cases deemed too serious or complex to be dealt with in the magistrates’ courts. These cases include conspiracy to murder, attempted murders (requiring the existence of an intention to kill), armed robberies, complex frauds, other serious assaults, some sexual offences (falling short rape and serious sexual offences which are dealt with by another specialist Unit), major public disorder, firearms offences and offences involving the trafficking and supply of drugs. The casework is often high-profile and the Unit frequently prosecutes large scale conspiracies to commit offences, multi-defendant trials and cases involving significant gang activity or other serious organised crime.