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Not guilty verdict in Damilola trial

3/4/2006

ONE YOUTH has been found not guilty of the murder of Damilola Taylor at the Old Bailey. The dramatic development follows the collapse of a previous trial.

Damilola Taylor
Tragic: Damilola Taylor

The jury is considering verdicts against two brothers, aged 18 and 17, who are charged with stabbing ten year old Damilola in Peckham, south London, in November 2002.

20-year-old Hassan Jihad was cleared today on all counts. He was charged with murder, manslaughter, and assault with intent to rob.

The prosecution alleged Damilola was attacked with a broken beer bottle during an attempted robbery. A defence expert said Damilola may have died after he fell on the broken bottle.

Damilola had only recently arrived in Britain and had been at an after-school class at a local library just minutes before he died.

Four youths aged under 18 were all cleared of killing the youngster following a trial in 2002 after a witness who incriminated the defendants was discredited as a fantasist by defence lawyers.

deliberating

Jihad&#39s lawyer had told the jury during the trial that while his client was a “wretched nuisance” with a robbery conviction, he was not a killer.

Hassan Jihad
Cleared: Hassan Jihad

The judge told the jury, which was still deliberating on the brothers, that he would accept a majority verdict in their cases.

The trio, who were 12, 13 and 14 when Damilola died, all denied any part in the youngster&#39s death.

At a time when street crime and violent offences were soaring, there was a public outcry about the death which triggered a political reaction.

Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed to re-tilt the justice system in favour of the victim and described Taylor as a “remarkable young boy”.

Jihad and the two brothers were charged after a police investigation uncovered fresh forensic evidence, which prosecutors said linked the trio to the death.

The evidence, found on items of clothing, had been missed at the time of the initial investigation.

The jury were told they could reach majority verdicts on the charges against the other two defendants. The seven women and four men of the jury were sent out to consider their verdicts four days ago.

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Resources:

pdf Leaflet: Police DNA Database

Race and the Criminal Justice System 2005: Report and Overview

pdf Making the new police complaints system work better: IPCC Statutory Guidance

pdf Stop and search: A Community Evaluation of Recommendation 61 in the London Borough of Hackney

pdf Statement from the De Menezes family lawyer

Shoot to Kill Who?

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2004

pdf Ethnicity, victimisation and worry about crime

pdf The views of the public on the phased implementation of recording police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf An evaluation of the phased implementation of the recording of police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2003

pdf CRE interim report on the Formal Investigation of the Police Service in England and Wales

Transcript from the BBC’s ‘Secret Policeman’ Programme

Stop and Search: know your rights

Stop and Search Resources

Black youth and street crime

Street Robbery: Fact sheet

Links:

The Robert Levy Foundation

Stop and Search

Independent Police Complaints Commission Information Leaflets

Metropolitan Police Authority

Inquest

Terrorism Act 2000

National Black Police Association UK

black and minority ethnic cracking crime project (BME CCP)

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

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