Rachel Johnson 7pm - 9pm
Twenty years on: The death of Damilola Taylor
27 November 2020, 06:02
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of schoolboy Damilola Taylor, with a memorial service planned to mark the occasion postponed due to Covid.
Damilola was just ten years old when he was stabbed to death in Peckham, south east London, in 2000.
His tragic killing, killed on his way home from a local library, became a high-profile case that rocked the country.
Damilola’s family had moved to England just four months earlier in hope of a better life.
The Prime Minister and Mayor of London were both due to be part of the memorial ceremony at Southwark Cathedral, alongside Prince Charles and actor John Boyega, who was one of the last people to see Damilola alive.
It has now been rescheduled for May 19, with a full cathedral expected for the occasion.
To mark the anniversary, Damilola’s father Richard set up the Hope Collective with footballer Rio Ferdinand, who grew up on the estate where Damilola died.
The Collective’s website says the campaign is “dedicated to young people and their aspirational stories of ambition and hope. The kind of young person Damilola was turning into.”
Ahead of Friday’s anniversary, Richard said: “What matters to me is not just focusing on the tragedy of that day but what we have achieved over the past 20 years. For this 20th anniversary and every anniversary, let’s give young people hope.”
But what has happened in the 20 years since Damilola’s death and what was its impact?
27 November - Damilola Taylor is killed on his way home from a local library in Peckham, south east London.
He was found bleeding heavily in a stairwell on the North Peckham Estate but died in hospital shortly after.
The ten-year-old is thought to have been attacked with a broken bottle.
2 December - Several teens are arrested but are released without charge.
19 January – Hundreds of people attend Damilola’s funeral in Plumstead, south east London.
June – Four teenagers are charged with murder. They all deny the charges.
27 November – One year since Damilola died, Prime Minister Tony Blair opens a youth centre in Peckham renamed in his honour.
January – April - The trial begins at the Old Bailey but the case against two defendants collapses after the judge rules a witness was lying. It ends with the jury finding the remaining two teens not guilty of all charges.
November - Police announce review of evidence using new forensic techniques.
January – Three teenagers are charged with Damilola’s murder - Hassan Jihad, 19, and Danny and Ricky Preddie, aged 16 and 17, who could not be named at the time because of their age.
May – The three appear in court and plead not guilty.
January – Trial opens. The prosecution claims the initial investigation missed spots of Damilola’s blood which were found on the accused’s clothing.
3 April – Hassan Jihad cleared of all charges.
4 April – Preddie brothers cleared of murder but the jury fails to reach a verdict on a manslaughter charge.
9 August – The pair are convicted of manslaughter after a retrial and sentenced to eight years in youth custody.
April - Damilola’s mother Gloria dies after suffering a fatal heart attack.
September – Ricky Preddie released, subject to recall if he breached any conditions of his release.
Danny Preddie released.
Ricky Preddie recalled on 13 March after breaching parole conditions.
Ricky Preddie released again before being recalled for a second time 16 days later after associating with gang members in Peckham. He was later released for a second time.
On the 19th anniversary of Damilola’s death, anti-knife campaigners met to launch a year-long “year of hope” in which thousands of young people, youth workers and local communities came together to tackle youth violence.