A man spent six months in prison accused of shooting dead an aspiring rapper after his "vengeful" girlfriend claimed he bragged about having "a boy's brains" on his tracksuit.

Benjamin Wallace, 36, of Croydon, had been due to face trial at the Old Bailey on Monday (July 10) for the murder of Akeem Moore, 22, who performed under the name Tuggzy.

But prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC dropped the case, saying there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction, partly because Mr Wallace's then girlfriend, who was to be a key witness, retracted her story.

Mr Moore was killed and his friend injured on October 7 last year after a man with a shotgun burst into a garden in Eastney Road, Broad Green, and opened fire.

A few days before, Mr Wallace had allegedly been "slighted" by the victim, although he was not the only person to have a grievance against him.

CCTV footage and mobile phone data placed him near the scene of the shooting, although the exact time could not be pinned down due to a delay in calling emergency services.

In January Mr Wallace's ex-partner Florence Roche told police that he had asked her to wash his tracksuit after the shooting because there was "a boy's brains" on it.

Ms Roche also claimed he had said to her he was responsible, and described paying someone else to carry out the shooting for him, the court heard.

But on May 24 she changed "critical aspects" of her story and admitted she had only said it because she was feeling "vengeful" against Mr Wallace, the court heard.

Mr Atkinson said: "Her account given in January was the defendant had been wearing a grey tracksuit at the time of the shooting and he had come back and asked her to wash it.

"In more recent times she has retracted that central element of that account, telling her counsellor she had been feeling vengeful at the time she said that about the tracksuit."

The barrister told the court she had not retracted a further claim Mr Wallace paid £5,000 for someone else to kill Mr Moore, but now her "credibility" as a witness was tarnished.

Further doubts about the case against Mr Wallace had emerged, including a number of alternative suspects who could not be eliminated, he said.

The CCTV and phone evidence suggested there would have been a "very limited window of opportunity" for Mr Wallace to have committed the murder while being consistent with his version of events, the prosecutor said.

Mr Wallace had denied murder, the attempted murder of Faisal Mudde, 25, possession of a shotgun and perverting the course of justice over a reported robbery two days before the killing.

Defending, Richard Carey-Hughes QC said the Crown had taken a "proper, responsible and just approach to the central allegations in this case".

He said Miss Roche had made the allegations against Mr Wallace in January in the "immediate aftermath of an altercation" between them so she had "a motive to be vengeful".

In her later statement, she also admitted she had not been held a "virtual prisoner" by Mr Wallace for 48 hours after the shooting, as she had claimed, but had actually spent the weekend with another lover in London.

Mr Carey-Hughes said his client had always "vigorously" maintained his innocence and said Miss Roche had a "grudge against him as a result of that altercation".

The barrister said Mr Wallace, who appeared in court via video link from jail, would be "delighted" that the charges had been dropped.

Judge Stephen Kramer QC formally recorded not guilty verdicts in relation to the shootings and ordered the charge of perverting the course of justice to lie on file as Mr Wallace has already spent six months in Pentonville prison.

After the judge explained his reasons for recording not guilty verdicts, Mr Wallace said: "Thank you sir."