OPM member found not guilty of degrading attack for 'disrespect'
GANG member Nathan McCrae has been cleared of taking part in a “degrading and humiliating” attack on a man, who had disrespected the group’s ringleader.
Mr McCrae was found not guilty by a jury of unlawfully imprisoning Malachi Headman-Cook as well as assaulting him causing actual bodily harm.
Gloucester Crown Court heard the 27-year-old of Hazel Field, Drybrook, had dropped someone over to the flat the victim was lured to on April 28, but did not take part in, or know of the plan to beat him.
During the trial Mr McCrae said the group, Other People’s Money (OPM), made music videos and were not a criminal gang.
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He admitted being sent violent videos of the attack at Oakhanger Lane, Kingsway where Mr Headman-Cook was locked in the flat for more than two hours before he escaped out of a small window.
Gang leader Freestone ‘Po’ Horsford, 28, of Cophall Street, Tipton, Staffs; Mica McLeary, 19, of Spa Roa, Gloucester; Ashley Walker, 26, of Sissons Road, Gloucester; Lucresia Maguire, 19, of Oakhanger Lane, Kingsway, and Yohance ‘Cappo’ Pierre, 25, of Lan Hill, London, have all pleaded guilty to the assault. They will all be sentenced at the same court at a later date.
Ishmael Butler, 31, of Beaufort Road, Gloucester, was also cleared of perverting the course of justice on Friday in the same case.
After seven hours of deliberations the jury failed to reach a verdict. Prosecutor Julian Kesner said a re-trial would not be in the public interest and formally offered no evidence before he was declared not guilty.
He had been accused of sending messages encouraging others to delete messages following some of the gangs’ arrests.
During the trial the jury was shown video clips of Mr Headman-Cook being slapped and having his hair pulled, as well as holding up signs saying ‘I love OPM’.
The court was told of BlackBerry Messenger exchanges where Mr McCrae said he was “deading up laughing” – dying of laughter – about other recordings where the victim was said to be “squealing” and “kicked in the head”.
After being found not guilty, Judge Jamie Tabor QC said to him: “I hope he never indulges again in the sort of text messages he sent through the course of that disgraceful conduct.”
A spokesman for Gloucestershire police, said: “We respect the decision of the jury and believe it was right the evidence in this case was heard at court.
“It’s important to stress that five people have pleaded guilty in connection with the assault at the centre of this investigation and we have worked very hard to secure those convictions, especially as we did not have the cooperation of the victim.”