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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Damilola: video coverage
Ten-year-old Damilola Taylor died from a thigh wound caused by a broken beer bottle near his home in Peckham, south London in November 2000. His death shocked the whole of Britain.

Reports criticise inquiry

Bishop of Birmingham John Sentamu
The Bishop of Birmingham investigated the police

Two reports into the Damilola Taylor murder inquiry criticise failings by police and the criminal justice system. The handling of a 14-year-old girl, whose evidence was thrown out of court, was particularly condemned.

 The BBC's Daniel Sandford reports

25 April 2002: The verdict

The jury took 14 hours to reach a unanimous verdict

Two teenage boys are cleared of murdering Damilola Taylor. The unanimous verdict prompts celebration from the defendants and their families - but despair for Damilola's parents.

 The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti reports

The police investigation

Crime scene
The stairwell cordoned off by police

The inquiry was one of Scotland Yard's biggest. Detectives were particularly anxious to track down the boy's killers following criticism levelled at the police for their handling of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt looks at the investigation

Tale of "The Untouchables"

Feltham Young Offender's Institution
The boys spent time at Feltham

The brothers acquitted of Damilola's murder were no strangers to the police or the courts. They were part of a gang they themselves called "The Untouchables". But the legal system allowed the two teenagers to keep their freedom despite several brushes with law.

 The BBC's Niall Dickson reports

The defendants and their mother

The defendants' mother with an arm around one of her sons
An artists impression of the defendants' mother

The accused brothers' mother, speaking after the trial, claims the police had "always had it in" for her sons because they had been in trouble for "small, petty sort of things". She says: "From day one I knew it couldn't have been my children." The brothers themselves tell the BBC the verdict was a fair one.

 The defendants' mother

 The 16-year-old brothers admit they had been involved with petty crime but insist they are not capable of murder

The detective's story

Trevor Shepherd
Detective Superintendent Trevor Shepherd

The murder investigation will remain open despite the acquittal of the final two suspects. The Metropolitan Police reject suggestions the investigation was a "fiasco", despite misgivings about the key prosecution witness.

 The Met's Trevor Shepherd, who led the investigation

The North Peckham estate

Floral tributes in a stairwell
The scene of Damilola's death

The estate where Damilola died is one of the most notorious in South London. The stairwell where he died has been boarded up - but shockwaves from the killing will linger long after the publicity has faded away.

 The BBC's Tim Donovan reports

Brothers "equal victims"

Defence solicitor Chris Hartnell
Defence solicitor Chris Hartnell

Defence lawyer Chris Hartnell says the acquitted boys will take years to come to terms with what has happened to them. The court heard that although they were no strangers to the courts the investigation and trial had been a terrible ordeal for them.

 The boy's lawyer Chris Hartnell outside court

Parents' nightmare

Richard and Gloria Taylor
Richard and Gloria Taylor

Damilola's father Richard Taylor, a civil servant from Nigeria, says Damilola's death has devastated his life. When he and his wife Gloria arrived in Britain they waited 14 months for someone to be brought to trial. The verdict has left them in despair.

 Taylor family spokesman Neil O'May

Inquiry faces questions

Scotland Yard
Police gave their reaction from Scotland Yard

Several questions have been asked about the police handling of the inquiry. Critics say political pressure to find a suspect led them to ignore normal procedure. The police now face the prospect of legal recriminations and re-opening their investiagtion.

 Police news conference

 Sgt Carolyn Crooks talks to the BBC Today programme's Zubeida Malik

Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout





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