Ten-year-old Damilola was killed on the way home from an after-school club in Peckham, London in November 2000. Several youths were arrested but the trial later collapsed. Amid intense criticism the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service each established their own Inquiries into the handling of the case in 2002.
Dr John Sentamu was asked to chair the review and the Director of Public Prosecutions Sir David Calvert Smith assessed the conduct of the CPS.
The review of the Damilola Taylor murder investigation concluded that ‘overall the Metropolitan Police response to Damilola’s murder is a manifest example of how the (force) has moved on since its unsatisfactory investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence’. 23 recommendations were made including that the Government should consider reforming current rules on excluding evidence; that there should be reciprocity of disclosure, including disclosure from defence lawyers to the prosecution of any expert evidence they do not plan to use; that Government give the most careful consideration to extending the prosecution right of appeal to all matters of evidence and procedure; that the resources available to the investigation team should be reassigned until a post-charge assessment of the outstanding and predicted work is available.
After three long trials, two brothers were charged in 2006, with the manslaughter of Damilola Taylor.
Damilola’s parents, Richard and his late wife Gloria founded the Damilola Taylor Trust to bring positive change to inner city communities and increase the options and opportunities available to youngsters in those areas. Richard Taylor OBE shares his story as part of the Archbishop’s book Agape Love Stories.
When Damilola was just ten years old he wrote: “I will travel far and wide to choose my destiny to remould the world. I know it is my destiny to defend the world which I hope to achieve in my lifetime”.