Damilola Taylor Stabbed to Death
Even in a world where we can become almost desensitised to violent crime, there are some cases which shock the nation and stay long in the memory. The Yorkshire Ripper ; Fred and Rose West ; the murder of Stephen Lawrence ; and in November 2000 the killing of Damilola Taylor.
Damilola had not been long in the country, but his story reflected the hopes and efforts of generations of immigrants: though just 10 he seemed determined to build a better life – on the day of his death he had attended a computer club and was walking home from there when he was attacked.
His attackers, thought to have used a broken bottle to stab him, severed an artery in his leg: bleeding badly he dragged himself to the cover of a stairwell in a block of flats on the North Peckham Estate. Passers-by tried to help him, but their efforts and those of the ambulance crew who quickly arrived were in vain. He bled to death.
The police investigation into his case has been much criticised and much reported on for its flaws: but the Metropolitan Police seemed absolutely focused on tracking down Damilola’s killers. On August 9 2006 brothers Rickie and Danny Preddie were found guilty of Damilola’s manslaughter and sentenced to eight years’ youth custody.
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