Assault charges against grime artist Kano have been dropped after the couple who brought the case failed to turn up at court.
The 32-year-old, born Kane Robinson, was accused of attacking a couple at Shoreditch House in London last September.
He faced one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one count of unlawful wounding and one count of affray.
However, both Suzzan Atala and Henry Kinman failed to appear for the trial at Wood Green Crown Court, and the case against Kano was thrown out.
The charges against Kano’s 30-year-old co-defendant Chris Brown, who faced one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, were also dropped.
The BBC reports that Mr Kinman appears to be on a climbing holiday in France. Prosecutor Roger Smart told the court that Suzzan Atala had not been heard from since February 2017.
Mr Kinman had not been in touch with the court since emailing officers in August to say he had a family emergency in the south of France involving his sister.
But Kano’s lawyers revealed that, from Friday 1 September, Mr Kinman had been posting images of himself rock-climing in Grenoble.
Jeremy Dein QC, the lawyer representing Kano, said: “The scenario appears that whilst Mr Kinman has been dangling from a rope and enjoying a scenic view in the south of France, having told the police that he was the victim of a family emergency, Mr Robinson has been overcome with anxiety at the prospect of this trial and the devastation of his career.”
Explaining that any delay in proceedings could impact on Kano’s plans to record a new album and film a new series of Top Boy, the lawyer asked for a full investigation and accused Mr Kinman of “toying with the criminal justice process”.
Judge Gregory Perrins said: “From the information put before me, he [Mr Kinman] has on the face of it deliberately misled the prosecution. It appears to be the case that Mr Kinman has no intention to attend.
“I have formally directed not guilty verdicts in the case of both of you. You are now both formally acquitted and leave this court without a stain on your character.”
Kano’s fifth album Made in the Manor was released in March last year. It won Best Album at the 2016 MOBO Awards and was shortlisted for the 2016 Mercury Prize.