Homerton rapper Unknown T stabbed Steven Narvaez-Jara to death at Old Street party, court hears
- Credit: police
Homerton rapper Unknown T knifed an engineering student to death at a house party near Old Street after a row over a female guest, a court has heard.
Unknown T - real name Daniel Lena - is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of stabbing Steven Narvaez-Jara in the early hours of New Year's Day 2018.
The 20-year-old rapper is charged with murder and violent disorder along with Ramani Boreland, 21, while a third defendant, 21-year-old Mohammed Musse, is charged with violent disorder.
In the two years since the killing, Lena has built a successful music career and has collaborated with a number of big names in the UK rap scene.
He has also appeared on stage with Canadian rapper Drake at London's O2 Arena.
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The jury heard the victim and the three defendants had been at a party in Bartholomew Court on the Red Brick Estate when a fight broke out because Musse was bothering a female guest.
He was "grabbing girls, annoying people", the court heard, and tried to slap one girl's bottom, prompting her boyfriend to threaten to punch him in the face.
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The hostess, 19-year-old Kinga Pawlowska, had tried to prevent violence by employing two door staff to search guests as they came in, but the incident with Musse sparked a large brawl.
Guests armed themselves with kitchen knives, bottles and planks of wood while one had allegedly smuggled in a large machete.
Mr Narvaez-Jara - a student of piloting and engineering at the University of Hertfordshire - was stabbed in the chest and arm during the attack, with the blow to the chest piercing his heart.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at around 3.30am.
The court heard that while Musse may have started the fight, he had either left or been dragged from the kitchen by the time the fatal blow was struck.
Boreland and Lena, who were friends of Musse, allegedly "took his side" and launched the fatal attack on Mr Narvaez-Jara.
All three lived close to one another in Hackney and had planned to go to the party together.
Another man, 18-year-old Israel Ogunsola, was also accused of involvement in the killing but died before the case came to trial.
The court heard the victim had actually been asked to leave the party after arguing with his girlfriend but had been waiting in the kitchen for a friend to accompany him.
He became embroiled in the argument with Musse when the defendant demanded: "You gonna start something? What are you going to do?"
Mr Narvaez-Jara replied: "I'm not here to do anything. I'm just trying to get a drink" - prompting Musse to shove him.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Lena, Boreland and Ogunsola were all involved in the attack.
He added: "The prosecution do not know who it was who actually stabbed Mr Narvaez-Jara."
The jury heard the case had been difficult to investigate because of the number of people at the party, the differing accounts of witnesses, and the reluctance of some to co-operate with police.
Mr Aylett said: "In the two years since this incident, Daniel Lena has achieved a degree of success as a rapper going by the name Unknown T."
The court heard that the two door staff had been told they could leave and had been paid by Ms Pawlowska at around 2am.
Mr Aylett said: "It does not seem as though it would have made much difference if (they) had stayed on.
"When the fighting broke out, a number of people were to arm themselves with items that were already in the flat and the scale of the brawl was such that there was little (they) could have done."
The three defendants admit being at the party but deny any wrongdoing.
The trial continues, and is expected to last four weeks.