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Grime artist Wiley on the run after failing to turn up at court over burglary and assault charges

By Matt Mathers
Getty Images

Grime artist Wiley is wanted by police after failing to turn up for a court hearing in November.

A fresh appeal to find the performer, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie Jnr, has been issued by police in Newham.

Cowie was due at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 11 November to face charges of burglary with intent to cause damage and assault by beating.

The 43-year-old is accused of breaking into a flat in Forest Gate, east London, on August 28, before allegedly smashing plates and attacking ex-kickboxer Ali Jacko.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “A court warrant has been issued for the arrest of Richard Cowie, 43, of Tower Hamlets, who failed to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on November 11 2021.

Musician Wiley, also known as Richard Cowie Jnr, accepting an MBE in 2018 (Getty Images)

“Cowie had been due to appear having been bailed at an earlier hearing.

“He is charged with one count of assault by beating and a further count of burglary with intent to cause damage.

“The charges relate to an incident in Romford Road, Forest Gate on Saturday, 28 August.”

The rapper, from Tower Hamlets, east London, used Mr Jacko’s recording studio before the pandemic.

Known as the Godfather of Grime, Wiley was made an MBE for services to music in 2018.

But he has found himself embroiled in several controversies in recent years.

Grime artist Wiley is wanted by the police (PA) (PA Archive)

In July 2020 he came under fire for posting a series of antisemitic mesages on Twitter in which he compared Jewish people to the racist Klu Klux Klan.

The comments, which sparked a police investigation calls for him to lose his MBE, were later removed and he apologised.

The Met Police dropped its investigation, Wiley was not charged and he kept his MBE.

He was later dropped by his management company, A-List Management, which said it had “cut all ties” with the rapper.

Wiley first burst onto the mainstream music scene when his Wearing My Rolex track entered the UK singles chart in 2008.

Some of his subsequent hits include Heatwave (2012) and Boasty (2019) - a collaboration with rappers Stefflon Don and actor Idris Elba.

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Dive Deeper:
Wiley: Grime artist wanted by police after failing to show up in court on assault and burglary charges
Musician, real name Richard Cowie, had been originally scheduled to appear in court in November
Rapper Wiley wanted by police six months after failing to appear in court
Grime artist Wiley is wanted by police after failing to turn up for a court hearing in November.
Rapper Dizzee Rascal mounts appeal against domestic violence conviction
Disgraced grime rapper Dizzee Rascal is mounting an appeal against his conviction and sentence for attacking his ex-fiancee in a…
Cressida Dick and top officers threatened with ‘assassination’
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Lutfur Rahman: Inside the shock return of Tower Hamlets’ divisive mayor
After a major scandal in 2015 Lutfur Rahman was removed from his role as mayor of the borough in which…
Man who wrote ‘catch me if you can’ on his own wanted appeal jailed
Bedfordshire Police said Jordan Carr was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday.
Get all your news in one place