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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 14:06 GMT
Damilola trial adjourned
Feltham Young Offenders' Institution
One of the accused allegedly "bragged" in Feltham
The Damilola Taylor murder trial has been adjourned until Monday while lawyers study detention records.

"There are records but they do not seem to be complete," Mr Justice Hooper told the jury.

He said barristers had been instructed to examine records from Feltham Young Offenders' Institution (YOI).

The decision follows the testimony of an 18-year-old trainee footballer who was cross-examined about how long he had been on the same wing as two of the defendants.

The judge said he hoped it would save time when the 18-year-old returns and other witnesses from Feltham, in west London, take the stand.

Charges denied

Two 16-year-old brothers and a 15-year-old boy are accused of stabbing Damilola to death with a broken bottle on the North Peckham Estate, south London, in November 2000.

They deny murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

On Wednesday the footballer testified that he had heard one of the defendants "bragging" that he had murdered the 10-year-old schoolboy.

The 18-year-old told the Old Bailey that the youth was boasting and seemed pleased with what he had done.

Old Bailey
The trial is being held at the Old Bailey
The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, testified that he had asked the defendant if he regretted what he had done.

The youth replied that he would do it again, the court heard.

The conversation allegedly took place in Feltham YOI last year.

The footballer said he had been sentenced to 18 months detention for a robbery in which a 70-year-old woman suffered a broken shoulder as her bag was snatched.

But he denied making a deal with police.

Earlier in the trial, a fourth defendant walked free after the judge decided the evidence from the prosecution's key witness was unreliable.

The case against the 17-year-old boy collapsed because it relied on identification evidence from the 14-year-old girl, who claimed to have witnessed the killing of 10-year-old Damilola.

The judge said the teenage girl's description of where the attack took place was contradicted by the evidence, and much of the detail she provided was already known to the public.

Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout

BACKGROUND

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See also:

05 Mar 02 | England
04 Mar 02 | England
01 Mar 02 | England
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