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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Mobile calls 'key', Damilola jury told
Damilola Taylor
Damilola bled to death on a stairwell
Two brothers accused of murdering Damilola Taylor would have had to run the "four minute mile" if they had been using their mobile phones on the day of the boy's death, a court has been told.


It is the four minute mile which was first broken by Roger Bannister a long time ago

Mr Justice Hooper

The judge, Mr Justice Hooper, told the Old Bailey jury that if they were sure the brothers had been using their phones they could not have been involved in the 10-year-old's death.

The 16-year-old brothers deny murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob the schoolboy on 27 November 2000.

Damilola bled to death on a stairwell on the North Peckham Estate, south London, from a thigh injury caused by a broken bottle.

The prosecution alleges he was stabbed, but the defence claims the boy injured himself accidentally.

'No transport'

In his summing up, the judge was explaining why he had ruled out speculation about whether the brothers could have travelled from Peckham, where Damilola was injured, to Bermondsey in south London in a certain time.

He told the jury the prosecution's case was that the youths would have had about seven minutes to run just under 1.8 miles.

"To run that distance would, on my calculations, require a speed of 15mph," he said.

"It is the four minute mile which was first broken by Roger Bannister a long time ago."

Even a fast runner would have had to negotiate roads and rush hour traffic, and no evidence had suggested they had used any other form of transport, he added.

SIM cards

Five calls were made from the brothers' mobile phones between 1647 and 1652 GMT on the day of Damilola's death, at the time a 999 call was made to police calling for help for the schoolboy.

Four of the calls recorded on the brothers' SIM cards were credit or time checks, while the other was to a phone owned by the mother of one of their friends.

The judge said the prosecution case was that evidence from staff at Feltham young offenders' institution claiming the brothers had admitted their involvement in the attack was enough to discount them being in Bermondsey.

The SIM card of one of the brothers was recovered from a relative's home in Bermondsey after his arrest, and it was common for young people to lend their phones.

The defence argued there was no evidence that the brothers had not been using their phones themselves, and it was unlikely they would both have lent out their phones which were used at the same time.

The trial was adjourned until Friday when the judge will continue his summing up.

Find out more about the Damilola Taylor murder trial

Not guilty verdict

The fallout

BACKGROUND

PANORAMA SPECIAL

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT

CBBC NEWS
See also:

15 Apr 02 | England
12 Apr 02 | England
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