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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 18:27 GMT
Damilola: Carefree boy with big dreams
Damilola Taylor
Damilola's death touched people across continents
On 27 November, 2000 Damilola Taylor "hopped playfully" to the library after school "without a care in the world," unaware the day would be his last.

Just ten days short of his 11th birthday when he died, Damilola's full name was Oluwadamilola Taylor.

Born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria, he came to Britain in August 2000 with his mother Gloria, sister Bemi, 23, and brother Tunde, 21.

This was so Bemi could receive better treatment for the epilepsy she suffered, prosecuting counsel Mark Dennis told the murder trial jury.

Damilola's father Richard had to stay behind in Lagos because of his work.

Big ideas

Soon after arriving, Bemi became ill and was admitted to King's College Hospital. They stayed in London with a relative on a north Peckham estate so Bemi could continue receiving treatment.

Damilola was enrolled at a local school, Oliver Goldsmith Primary, Camberwell, where, the Old Bailey heard, he made good progress and was liked by teachers.

But, despite making a number of friends, he soon complained to his mother of bullying.


I want to be the very best

Damilola Taylor

He registered with the computer club at the Peckham library and would go there most days straight after school.

A committed Christian and keen to learn, he began to read well, use a computer and was fascinated by the internet. He also had big ideas.

In one essay, read at his funeral by the pastor of his church, Damilola had said: "I want to be the very best, like no-one ever has been.

"The world we must defend and I know it is my destiny."

Both British and Nigerian people were shocked by his untimely death.

About 300 mourners attended his funeral, including former Wimbledon footballer John Fashanu, the Nigerian Arsenal player Kanu, the Nigerian High Commissioner Prince Bola Ajibola and Home Office Minister Paul Boateng.

Prince Ajibola even read an address from the Federal Government of Nigeria which said his people had been "deeply touched" by the little boy's death.

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


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