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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 15:24 GMT
Damilola police accused 'evil' youth
Damilola Taylor
The defendants claim they did not kill Damilola
A detective accused one of the defendants in the Damilola Taylor murder trial of being "the kind of evil that could kill a 10-year-old boy", an Old Bailey jury has heard.

A transcript read to the court revealed Detective Sergeant Nicholas Snape also told the boy that he was a liar and "a spineless coward" during an interview at Edmonton Police Station.

Earlier the jury heard how the youngest defendant warned officers they would be "in trouble" if they charged him with murdering 10-year-old Damilola.

The boys, now aged 16 and 15, and a second 16-year-old all deny murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

'No knife'

Damilola died on November 27, 2000, from a thigh injury caused by a broken beer bottle on the North Peckham Estate, south London, where he lived.

The Old Bailey heard that DS Snape was trying to win a confession when he asked the defendant: "Did you get blood on your hands?"


At the end of the day when you get the picture, boy you will be in trouble

Damilola Taylor defendant
The youth, who was 15 at the time and cannot be named because of his age, said he had nothing to do with Damilola's death and was not even in the area at the time.

He told officers: "I can swear on my mother's life I never killed Damilola. I just can't believe I am in this police station for murder."

Asked if he carried a knife, he said: "I don't need a knife, I've got my brother."

When DS Snape suggested the boy and his friends had acted like "a bunch of animals" when they were together and scattered after killing Damilola, his reaction was allegedly to laugh and smile.

'Naughty'

Earlier the court heard how the youngest suspect, who was 13 when he was arrested, told officers he had not bullied Damilola and they would "look stupid" if he was charged.

The teenager said: "I might be naughty but I'm not gonna slip and go to a ten-year-old boy with six of us like double his size."

He also denied being in the area when Damilola was killed and said: "I know I never did it. If you think I did it, charge me, charge me.

"But at the end of the day when you get the picture, boy you will be in trouble."

The trial continues.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Stephen Cape
"We've been hearing transcripts of interviews that took place"
Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout

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28 Feb 02 | England
27 Feb 02 | England
27 Feb 02 | England
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