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Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 16:54 GMT
Damilola witness 'wanted 50,000'
Damilola Taylor
Damilola bled to death in a stairwell in south London
The key prosecution witness in the Damilola Taylor murder trial has been seen in court demanding reward money in taped police interviews.

The jury watched as the 14-year-old girl exclaimed: "Just give me the 50,000."

She was referring to a reward offered by a national newspaper for information leading to the arrest of the 10-year-old schoolboy's killers.

The girl - aged 12 at the time of the alleged attack - was shown to break down in the arms of her teacher when she finally confessed to police to seeing the attack.


Just give me the 50,000 - Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme

14-year-old witness
Mark Dennis, prosecuting, has told the jury it will have to decide how much the reward had motivated the girl to come forward.

The Old Bailey jury heard the girl say "gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme", and saw her make a grasping motion with her hands.

She told her teacher: "D'ya know, I figured how much I am going to give you."

"How much of what?" asked the teacher.

The girl replied: "The money." She said even if her evidence was not used, she would get some cash for "wasting my time".

Tearful

She told her teacher: "They can let you go to Jamaica and let me go too - just give me the 50,000. Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme."

Damilola bled to death from a thigh wound caused by a broken bottle on the North Peckham Estate, south London, in November 2000.

Two brothers aged 16, their 17-year-old friend and a 14-year-old boy are accused of murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob. They deny all the charges.

Before jury members began viewing the tapes, defence barrister George Carter-Stephenson QC, told them to watch out for references to the reward "which we suggest are important".
Damilola Taylor's parents
Damilola's mother and father heard the tapes

Members of the jury were moved as they watched the dramatic moment when the girl admitted to witnessing the alleged killing.

The admission came after days of police interviews in which the girl had given two different versions of how she knew what happened.

The teacher, holding the tearful girl in her arms, said: "Come here, let me give you a hug... don't cry, baby."

Clash

She added: "You see what it is with you, sometimes your age and innocence gets lost in all this stuff.

"You're actually a baby, but you don't come over as a baby because you've got a dirty mouth, you've got a stinking attitude when you're ready and you mix with a terrible crowd.

"It's easy to forget sometimes that you are a 13-year-old girl."

The girl disrupted the trial earlier this week when she walked out of court after clashing with prosecution lawyers.

The trial continues.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti
"The young witness will return for more cross-examination tomorrow"
The BBC's Stephen Cape
"'Gimme gimme gimme' she said; it was a bit of a joke"
Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout

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06 Feb 02 | England
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