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Tashan Daniel: Killer jailed for life for stabbing Arsenal fan on his way to match
20 August 2020, 21:00
A man has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years after stabbing a talented athlete to death over a "funny look" in north-west London.
Knifeman Alex Lanning, 22, stabbed 20-year-old Tashan Daniel in the chest following a row at Hillingdon Station on 24 September last year.
Tashan was on his way to a football match between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest at the Emirates Stadium at the time of the attack.
Lanning and his co-defendant Jonathan Camille, 19, were on the platform opposite Mr Daniel and his friend Treyone Campbell who were waiting for their train.
The killer, from Hillingdon, who was already on licence for a previous knife attack in Brighton, chose to pick a fight with the 20-year-old and his friend after accusing them of "looking at him" across the tracks.
Lanning and Camille allegedly got angry when Mr Daniel told him to "be quiet and get on your train", after which the killer asked him aggressively: "What are you looking at?"
During the fight, Lanning pulled out a 5.5 inch blade that is used by the German military to cut through vehicle windows and seat belts.
He stabbed Mr Daniel once to the chest, while the whole incident lasted just 34 seconds.
As they fled the scene, Lanning was spotted by two separate witnesses while he was apparently laughing about the attack.
The pair hid the knife beneath paving stones at a nearby housing estate and stole towels from a washing line, which they used to wrap around their heads to disguise their appearance.
They were tracked down 10 days later in central London.
Lanning admitted manslaughter but was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey on 6 August.
Camille, from Fulham, was convicted of manslaughter after telling the jury he did not know his friend had a knife.
Jailing Lanning for life with a minimum term of 25 years and Camille for six-and-a-half years, Judge Mark Dennis QC said: "This was a disgraceful display of violence for which there was no possible justification or excuse.
"You are both comparatively young men, however you are both old enough and mature enough to know what you were doing and to make your own choices."
He said Camille had willingly participated in the attack and done nothing to restrain Lanning.
The jury heard Mr Daniel was a talented athlete who trained up to four times a week at Hillingdon Athletic Club.
He worked as a photographer and was described as a popular young man who made friends easily and was devoted to his family.
Mr Dennis said: "The deceased had just turned 20 two days before. He was a dedicated and talented athlete and he had a promising future before him.
"His and Treyone Campbell's lives could not have been further from the violence and aggression which they were unexpectedly subjected to on that day."
The victim's parents and sister were all present in court.
During the trial, the court heard Mr Daniel's family had made it to the station as paramedics battled to save his life.
His father Chandy Daniel, 59, said previously: "It is in no doubt, nor has it ever been, that this was a senseless, needless, horrific and ultimately unnecessary act of violence.
"One that our family shall be paying for for the rest of our lives."
In a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing, Mr Daniel further said: "My son was taken from us so carelessly by a casual and needless act - it has affected the three of us, our wider family and friends and our community.
"It was one senseless act that should never have happened.
"This person has taken someone that they would never be like in a million years, this is not fair and he has robbed us of our future."
The victim's sister Oceanna said: "Everything was taken - I lost a brother and I lost my inspiration and the person I could turn to whenever I wanted advice.
"It was a cowardly, stupid and senseless act. Everything I do will never be the same as before."