Islington gangster who posed in YouTube video has jail term slashed
A MAN jailed after he posed next to a gun-toting gang member on a YouTube rap video glorifying violence has had his sentence slashed on appeal by top judges.
Ryan Agostini, 24, of Calshot Street, King’s Cross, warned other gangs not to come onto the turf of the Islington-based Busy Block crew in the video, whilst another youth posed with a sawn-off shotgun.
Police were alerted by the film and raided Agostini’s home where they found a sawn-off shotgun, 46 rounds of expanding ammunition and 29 rounds of standard ammunition.
Agostini was jailed for eight years at Blackfriars Crown Court on September 3 last year, having pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of expanding ammunition and possessing ammunition without a certificate.
Last week that sentence was cut to six-and-a-half years by Lord Justice Jackson, Mr Justice Openshaw and Judge Brian Barker QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court.
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The court heard that officers raided Agostini’s family home in October 2009, just weeks after spotting a gun in a video posted on the site.
In one section of the footage, Agostini, who went by the street name Shotime, says to the camera: “Bang bang, Busy Block, y’get me, y’dun know, Islington Borough, know where it is, Sho’s time.”
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After his arrest, he told police he had been forced to join the gang and had only taken part in the video because he was “interested in the musical aspect”.
Allowing his appeal, after hearing submissions that Agostini is now a reformed character, Lord Justice Jackson said: “The Crown Court judge deplored the video in which this appellant appeared, but he has expressed genuine remorse for his offending and is determined to turn his life around.
“He was put under considerable pressure to commit the offences in this case, and he was only in possession of the gun and ammunition for a short time.
“For those reasons, the total sentence is manifestly excessive and it will be reduced to six-and-a-half years.”