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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 18:11 GMT
Police 'threatened' Damilola suspect
Damilola Taylor
Damilola Taylor bled to death in a stairwell
Police officers bullied a teenage suspect and threatened to throw his mother in jail, the Damilola Taylor murder trial has heard.

Defence counsel Baroness Mallalieu QC told the Old Bailey that two officers had reduced her 15-year-old client to tears during questioning.

They had told him he was an evil, spineless coward and an animal, she said.

The officers had also threatened to throw the boy's mother and the rest of his family in prison, Lady Mallalieu added.

Denial

But Detective Constable John Nolan denied making threats.

He said the boy's solicitor and a person acting as an "appropriate adult" had been present at the police station during the interrogation in December 2000.

Neither had objected, Mr Nolan told the court.

The youth and his brother, who are both now 16, and a 15-year-old youth deny murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

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 trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout

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11 Mar 02 | England
07 Mar 02 | England
06 Mar 02 | England
05 Mar 02 | England
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