Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Jahmel Jones shooting: PhD student 'did not see accused drug dealing'

Rachel Kenehan
Image caption Rachel Kenehan was studying for a PhD at the University of Essex

A lecturer whose boyfriend is one of three men accused of murder has told a court she did not know they were dealing drugs.

Rachel Kenehan, 35, is accused of assisting boyfriend Pierre Lewis, 20, and two other men. The men are charged with murdering "rival" Jahmel Jones.

The 23-year-old was shot in the head in St Mary Street, Southampton, on 20 April. He died later in hospital.

Ms Kenehan, from Hewlett Road, London, denies the six charges against her.

She is charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, one count of assisting an offender and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

Ms Kenehan told Winchester Crown Court that, despite making multiple trips with Mr Lewis to Southampton, she saw no evidence of any drug dealing.

She said she only became suspicious of him shortly before her arrest in April.

"I felt sad and scared of the consequences for him," she told the court.

"Why would anyone want someone they love to do something so negative?"

'Destroy forensic evidence'

Previously the court had heard Ms Kenehan became involved in a relationship with Mr Lewis after meeting him through a prison mentoring scheme in March 2012.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Jahmel Jones was shot in the head at a property on 20 April

When he was released she began willingly helping him in the supply and transport of Class A drugs to Southampton, the prosecution said.

Ian Lawrie QC told the jury that after the shooting Ms Kenehan picked up the three defendants from Basingstoke and took them back to London and then also helped to destroy forensic evidence.

He said she had gained "an in-depth knowledge of criminal behaviour and the frailty of human nature" through her academic career at London School of Economics studying criminology.

At the time of her arrest, Ms Kenehan was studying for a PhD at the University of Essex.

The prosecution described how an eyewitness saw Mr Orlebar-Forbes fire two shots with a revolver, one of which hit Mr Jones in the head.

Pierre Lewis from Castlenau, Barnes, Jemmikai Orlebar-Forbes, 20, from Cloudesdale Road, and Isaac Boateng, 22, of Mill Farm Crescent in Hounslow, deny murder.

Mr Lewis, Mr Orlebar-Forbes and Mr Boateng have each admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

The trial continues.

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