Chadwell Heath mum accused of plotting Ilford ammonia attack ‘thought she was making music video’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 November 2018
A Chadwell Heath mum accused of luring a filmmaker to an Ilford home where ambushers poured ammonia down his throat thought they were going to make a music video, a court heard.
On June 13 this year, music video producers Courtney Raymond and Jordan Dubois - both 20 at the time - were ambushed and robbed of more than £2,000 in equipment at a home in Argyle Road.
Makayla Hajaig, formerly of Barley Lane, Chadwell Heath, told Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday (November 22) that she had invited the pair to the address to make what she believed was a “legitimate” music video for a song called “Creepy”.
But, as jurors were told at an earlier hearing, after Hajaig greeted the pair and led them into the house two attackers burst out from inside an electrical cupboard and third ran down the stairs.
The court heard that Mr Raymond collapsed to the floor after his head was pulled back and ammonia was poured into his mouth while Mr Dubois was punched, kicked and also sprayed with the liquid.
Standing in the witness booth, Hajaig said the incident was “a rude awakening”, and that she had no knowledge of the planned attack.
Her defence solicitor Rochelle Collins asked Hajaig to explain her presence at Turkish restaurant Gokyuzu with co-defendant William Deo 20, from Archway, in the aftermath of the attack.
Jurors were shown photos taken on Hajaig’s phone which were said to show her and Deo seemingly having a good time.
“I didn’t want to show any vulnerability or that I was liable,” she told court. “The pictures were taken over a short period of time.”
She continued: “I was scared because of what I just witnessed.”
“I didn’t want to go out for dinner.
“I wanted to go and stay with my mum.”
During cross-examination, prosecutor Nathan Rasiah quizzed Hajaig on what roles her co-defendants Deo and Adam Badejo, 30, of Valence Wood Road, Dagenham, played in the attack.
He spoke of how, when interviewed by the police on June 18th, Hajaig told officers that Deo “had a spray bottle”.
And referring to Badejo, she said: “I saw Yeyo coming to punch and punch and punch him.”
She continued: “I think [Badejo] was the one who held the head back because he had nothing on him.”
When police asked if she was certain of that, she added: “I think I’m 100pc sure of that one.”
But during yesterday’s hearing, Hajaig said her remarks towards Badejo’s were just an “assumption I made on the basis of what I had seen at the time”.
She did not actually see Badejo hold Mr Raymond’s head back, she said.
Deo’s defence barrister Gerwyn Wise accused Hajaig of lying about his client’s involvement in spraying the ammonia.
He told the jury that a telephone schedule appears to show 22 attempts by her to ring Deo in the 20 hours prior to her arrest on June 17.
“He was the loose end in the days after the incident,” Mr Wise said.
“As soon as you found out the state of the evidence that the police knew about Mr Deo you decided to point the blame at him and others rather than get yourself in trouble”.
“Having lied in the first interview you have got no choice but to come here and stick to that account.”
Deo was caught on July 4, following a police manhunt.
Continuing the cross-examination, Mr Rasiah also quizzed Hajaig on her claim that she knew nothing of the attack.
The jury were shown images appearing to show a fake Instagram account she set up, posing as female rapper Stafia Star, used to initiate contact with Mr Dubois and Mr Raymond.
A transcript appeared to show her making plans with Mr Dubois and Mr Raymond, who had a music video production company called CR Spex, to make a supposed music video.
The jury were also shown screenshots from Hajaig’s phones which appeared to show that she had downloaded apps to disguise her IP address seemingly for purposes of “deception”.
Hajaig claimed that she created the Instagram account and downloaded the apps unquestioningly under instruction, fearing for her safety.
Hajaig, Deo and Badejo each stand accused of two counts of throwing corrosive liquid, two counts of robbery, one count of GBH with intent and another of ABH.
A fourth defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with the same offences but has been deemed unfit for trial.
He may be tried after being assessed at a later date.
Hajaig also faces an additional charge of assisting in the commissioning of the six aforementioned offences.
The trial continues.