The Damilola Taylor murder trial exposed flaws in the criminal justice system and failings in the police investigation of the case, two reports have found.
The report by the Bishop of Birmingham, John Sentamu, into the police investigation was particularly critical of the handling of 14-year-old 'Witness Bromley' - her crucial evidence was rejected because she lied.
That report's key conclusions and recommendations are outlined below.
Child witness 'Bromley' should have been interviewed in better ways
Investigative work relating to the possible use of mobile telephones by the defendants took too long
The forensic examination of footwear also took too long.
More work should have been done to identify and evidence all the options available to the perpetrators of the crime, travelling from the scene to a particular location (where the defendants in the case were known to have been shortly after).
Some of the evidence excluded from the jury (because of criminal justice rules) probably had a significant effect on the trial's outcome
There were instances where the nature or circumstances of the evidence obtained by the investigators left the prosecution vulnerable to avoidable challenges under the existing rules of evidence
Bishop Sentamu led a six-month inquiry
The initial attendance and management at the crime scene was good
The involvement of independent community advisors was innovative and effective
The various suspects in the case were arrested promptly and effectively
The police went to considerable lengths to acquire additional information and evidence by innovative covert means
The post-charge phase of the investigation and the associated work necessary in preparing the case for trial was less well managed
Establishing if the defendants had made incriminating remarks whilst in custody was innovative but poorly resourced - some of the evidence subsequently obtained was unnecessarily vulnerable to challenge
The police response to Damilola Taylor's murder is a manifest example of how the Met Police has moved on since its unsatisfactory investigation of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence
Last images of Damilola Taylor caught on closed circuit TV footage
The great majority of the Metropolitan Police Service's efforts revealed a level of professionalism, commitment and application to the investigation and its commensurate difficulties that should be commended
The 54-page report includes 28 conclusions of wide-ranging recommendations
relating not just to the police and the Met but the prison service and criminal
justice system as a whole.
A greater balance is needed between prosecution and the defence during trials
The Government should reconsider the rules of evidence within trials
The Government should consider
whether or not the prosecution's right of appeal on all matters of evidence
during a trial needs reforming
The treatment and handling of vulnerable witnesses should be reconsidered
The Metropolitan Police should get more
resources to deal with murder investigations as a lack of detectives remained
"a serious problem" on the Damilola Taylor case
Senior investigating officers or anyone else on the
investigation team in murders should not be reassigned until an assessment of
all the outstanding work was made
HM Prison Service should reviews its internal information