BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Damilola's father backs justice review
Damilola Taylor
Four boys were cleared of Damilola's murder
The father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor has backed proposals to scrap the double jeopardy law which prevents defendants being tried twice on the same charge.

The plans were outlined in what was claimed to be a leaked version of Home Secretary David Blunkett White Paper for sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, due out on Wednesday.

The government allegedly wants to change the law so that defendants who were acquitted could face a new trial on the same charge in certain circumstances.


It would go a long way to bringing justice to the victims

Richard Taylor

It would be possible in cases of "a grave offence punishable by imprisonment" and in those involving compelling new evidence where a re-trial is "in the interests of justice".

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Richard Taylor said the law was out-dated and needed to be reviewed.

"It would go a long way to bringing justice to the victims that have suffered as a result of this," he said.

"I think most of the cases of victims that have gone through this law, it will be a reprieve for them."

Remorse

Ten-year-old son Damilola died in Peckham, south London, in November, 2000.

Four teenage boys on trial for his murder earlier this year were all cleared.

Mr Taylor said it was "crazy" to say his son died after falling accidentally on broken glass rather than being fatally stabbed, as claimed in court.

Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' powers will increase under the justice review
He said that, whoever was responsible for Damilola's death, his religious faith meant he did not seek vengeance against them.

But he said he wanted whoever stabbed his son to show remorse.

"They should be able to confess what they have done, they should have remorse, they should repent," he said.

"They shouldn't be excluded from society but they need a lot of work to be done on them."

Other key changes believed to be included in the overhaul of the criminal justice system include plans to allow judges to sit alone to hear complex cases and doubling magistrates' sentencing powers.

Find out more about criminal justice reforms proposed for England and Wales

Key stories

Background

TALKING POINT

FORUM
See also:

26 Apr 02 | UK
20 Jun 01 | Politics
16 May 00 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes