BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Brothers 'will take years to recover'
Flowers
Flowers were left at the spot where Damilola Taylor died
The teenage brothers cleared of murdering Damilola Taylor will take years to come to terms with what has happened to them, their defence lawyer Chris Hartnell has said.

He said the boys were pursued by the largest squad of detectives ever assembled by the Metropolitan Police, regardless of the evidence.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Mr Hartnell said he would be talking to the 16-year-olds about whether they wanted to take action against the police.

He said: "Evidence was not tested or collated unless it served their common goal - anything however improbable, so long as it supported the impossible, would do."

'Terror and neglect'

Mr Hartnell said prosecution lawyers encouraged police to continue even when they were in the wrong, and were "complicit" in his clients' suffering.


The defendants and their families are the equal victims

Chris Hartnell
And pouring scorn on the prosecution's case he said: "There was no evidence worthy of credit in the whole case. Merely tales told by young people incarcerated for various terms in young offenders institutes - academies of bullying and braggartry.

"The picture they painted reflects terribly on those establishments for the terror and the neglect experienced by their occupants."

Such confessional evidence should be excluded from criminal law unless it offers unique information that can be independently corroborated, Mr Hartnell said.

'Equal victims'

Offering his sympathy to the parents of 10-year-old Damilola, Mr Hartnell said the false case against his clients was also a disservice to them.

"They have lost a son and endured with us the agony of this trial," he said.

"However it fell to us, the defence team, to explore evidence available to the police and the prosecution, that this death was probably the result of a tragic accident."

Mr Hartnell added: "The defendants and their families are the equal victims."

The brothers cannot be identified because of their age.

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:

25 Apr 02 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes