Lady Leshurr tells court that video of alleged attack is misleading

A video allegedly showing rapper Lady Leshurr attacking her ex-girlfriend’s lover moments before biting her does not show the real incident, the artist has told a court.

The 35-year-old, whose real name is Melesha O’Garro, is accused of assaulting Chante Boyea – then dating her ex-girlfriend Sidnee Hussein – just after 5am on October 22 2022, biting her hand so badly that she suffered “nerve damage”.

O’Garro told a jury at east London’s Southwark Crown Court that she had been on the ground and stamped on and Ms Boyea was directing a dog about where to attack her.

The former Dancing On Ice contestant, of Kingshurst, Birmingham, and her co-defendant Sherelle Smith allegedly attacked Ms Hussein after she tried to help Ms Boyea, the court has heard previously.

Melesha O’Garro arriving at Snaresbrook Crown Court for an earlier hearing
Melesha O’Garro arriving at Snaresbrook Crown Court for an earlier hearing (Aaron Chown/PA)

The rapper denies two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Smith, 29, of Yardley, Birmingham, denies one count of the same charge during the incident outside Ms Hussein’s home in Walthamstow, north-east London.

Bruising to O’Garro’s left arm was caused by “Chante stamping” plus injuries to the left side of her body including her leg, inside left arm, elbow and buttock were all caused by a dog, she told the jury.

O’Garro also denied she tried to headbutt or bite Ms Hussein.

A diagnosis that she suffered post concussion syndrome was later made during a hospital appointment but O’Garro denied this had been caused by her delivering a headbutt. The jury have seen a Snapchat video recorded by Ms Boyea which shows her holding back O’Garro with her left hand as the rapper appeared to lunge at her.

In the short clip, O’Garro was seen with her mouth open as Ms Boyea screamed “help” repeatedly.

Ms Boyea previously told the court that O’Garro then bit down on her hand and “didn’t let go”. She said that O’Garro only relented when Ms Hussein rushed from her house to her aid and was then attacked by Smith.

The defendants’ case is that they were the ones who were first attacked and that security officer Ms Boyea used her Belgian Malinois dog Toby as a “weapon” against O’Garro.

Sherelle Smith
Co defendant Sherelle Smith denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (Aaron Chown/PA)

During her evidence on Thursday O’Garro, who denied biting or trying to bite Ms Boyea, said she believes the video was taken after the altercation because she is not wearing one of her trademark wigs, which she uses “95% of the time”.

She told the court: “Looking at the video, I’m just trying to get her off.

“She (Ms Boyea) said that I’m flailing my arms around. None of it connected. I am trying to get them off and there is a dog around.”

She suggested her mouth could be open in the video because her chin may have been hit.

O’Garro said the dog was being directed to specific places where it could bite her.

She said: “While I was on the floor she was hitting me. She was saying ‘get her’ and that is where the dog was going.”

O’Garro added “my main concern was keeping the dog away from my face” and throughout the brawl all she wanted to do was escape.

She said: “I did not care that she was hitting me. It was the dog at the time. I just wanted to get up and get away – that was it.”

Under cross-examination by the prosecution on Thursday O’Garro denied she was having to be restrained because she had become angry.

She said: “I’m clearly defending myself.

“If you put that online everyone would think I’m attacking her but if you look there’s still a dog attacking me.”

Asked by the prosecution why Ms Boyea is shouting for help, O’Garro replied: “So that she has evidence that she is being attacked.

“She made this Snapchat evidence before she called the police – that’s my analysis of that.”

O’Garro said she did not say anything while she was on the floor “in pain” adding: “I just wanted it to end, I had no energy, I did not scream or shout, I literally just took it.”

The hearing was adjourned to Friday at 11.30am.