Brentford 'Gangster' Convicted of Murdering Rapper

Courtney Ellis found guilty of involvement in gunning down Craig Small

Craig Small was shot in the face by an unknown gunman . Picture: Met Police

January 19, 2024

A man from Brentford, described in court as a gangster, has been found guilty of the murder of a rapper after a trial at the Old Bailey this Friday (19 January).

38-year-old Courtney Ellis of Mafeking Avenue was convicted of being involved in the gunning down of Craig Small outside a pizza restaurant on the Harrow Road in Wembley in 2019.

Ellis is not believed to have fired the fatal shot and the man who did so remains at large.

32-year-old Craig Small performed rap under the name Smallz and was part of music collective USG and featured on K Koke's song 'Bizzy'. He died of his wounds in hospital shortly after being shot on 5 July 2019. Family members described him as a 'peacemaker' who had changed his life for the better after previously having issues with the law.

A second intended target, Serge Mukendi, known as “Big French”, was also a musician and had appeared in the same video. Ellis was convicted of his attempted murder.

Police believe that the shootings followed an outbreak of gang rivalry and that Ellis and his accomplices had preplanned the attack. The masked gunman was seen running towards Mr Small and shooting him in the face from less than a metre away. A second shot missed, and the man ran away to a Mini with cloned plates that was waiting nearby.

Seven minutes later about a mile and a half away, what is believed to be the same man got out of a Mini and ran towards a white Mercedes car in which Mr Mukendi was sitting and aimed the gun at him. However, it is believed to have misfired.

The Mini was then seen meeting up with a black Volvo which drove away with the gunman. Later two men took away the Mini using a flat-bed pick-up and arranged for its disposal.

The jury was told that Ellis was the driver of the Mini and also helped get rid of the car.

Ellis had denied the charges along with another man who was accused of helping him dispose of the Mini.

At an earlier trial in 2022, 32-year-old Aaron Youngsam, 32, from Willesden, was cleared of murder and attempted murder and Horraine Nicholas, 34, of Downs Road, Luton, was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.

A date has yet to be set for the sentencing of Ellis.

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