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Thursday, 30 November, 2000, 17:28 GMT
Damilola's grieving father speaks out
Scene of Damilola's murder
Damilola's death has provoked uproar in the UK
The father of murdered schoolboy, Damilola Taylor, has spoken of his pain and terrible shock at the killing of his 10 year-old son.

Richard Taylor also criticised the headmaster of the boy's school in Peckham, south London, for "failing to take action against bullying".

It was a terrible shock to me. I keep crying every minute

Damilola's dad
"I got the news on Tuesday morning around 1000 (0900 GMT), in a phone call from London from my family," said Mr Taylor, a senior official in the administrative section of the Nigerian Defence Ministry.

Damilola Taylor
Damilola complained of bullying
"They said my son, Damilola, was coldly murdered by a gang of youths," he told the French News Agency, AFP.

"It was a terrible shock to me. I keep crying every minute. People are coming round every second. I don't think I can recover from it," he said.

Damilola was left to bleed to death after being stabbed in the leg on his way home from Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in Peckham, south east London, on Monday afternoon.

Police are hunting for three boys seen running away from the scene of the attack.

Damilola's murder, just four months after arriving in England from his native Nigeria, has provoked an uproar in Britain.

Bullying at school

Mr Taylor said he had last spoken to his son at the weekend, two days before his murder.

Mr Taylor said he had last chatted with his son, via the internet on Saturday.

Police search scene of crime
Police have found two knives near the scene of the crime
"He was telling me he was being bullied in the class. He was being harrassed. He was being called names."

"I was shocked when my wife told me on the phone that the headmaster just brushed her off with a statement that it (bullying) is a usual thing in the school and that the situation will normalise after some time."

The boy's mother, Gloria Taylor has spoken in the London daily, The Evening Standard, of how bullies had been threatening Damilola.

"The bullies told him that he was gay. He came home and asked me what gay meant. In his school in Nigeria you would never have a child of his age knowing the word gay," she said.

"I told his teachers but they wouldn't listen."

Trip to London

Mrs Taylor recalled how the family had struggled for two years to raise 5,000 to come to Britain in August to seek urgent medical treatment for Damilola's older sister who suffered severe epilepsy.

The murder has shocked Britain
"I decided I would bring my daughter over here but I could not leave my children alone," said Mrs Taylor.

She arrived with her two sons, Damilola and 21-year-old Baba Tunde and her daughter, Olugbemisola, 23.

While Damilola was enrolled at the primary school, Tunde gave up his studies at Nigeria's Ekiti State university works for a sports shop in London.

Though her daughter's health has improved, Mrs Taylor regrets ever coming to London.

"My son is dead and I am bitter. I wish we had never come."

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29 Nov 00 | UK
Boy's death shames Britain
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