|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.
Jihad's 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.
|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's 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.