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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 17:28 GMT
Damilola's last moments recalled
Damilola Taylor
Damilola had only been in Britain three months when he was killed
The man who found Damilola Taylor in a stairwell has described holding the dying 10-year-old in his arms.

Guillermo Casal said he had followed a trail of blood up a stairwell in Peckham, south-east London, and found the schoolboy leaning against a wall.

He told the Old Bailey the boy's last words were: "I'm OK, I'm OK." Mr Casal told jurors: "I knew he was not OK."

Hassan Jihad, 20, of Peckham, south London, and two brothers aged 17 and 18 deny murdering him in November 2000.

They also deny manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

Damilola, who was from Nigeria, had only been in Britain three months when he was killed in Blakes Road, Peckham, on 27 November 2000.

He was on his way home from a library when he was stabbed in the thigh with a broken bottle.

I looked him straight in the eyes. He looked at me. I saw he was falling down
Guillermo Casal

He managed to make his way to a stairwell, where he was found by Mr Casal, a carpenter whose offices were on the first floor of the building.

Mr Casal had noticed the trail of blood, and followed it up two flights of steps before coming across Damilola.

"I saw a little boy. He was standing up. He was leaning against the wall," Mr Casal told the Old Bailey.

"I looked him straight in the eyes. He looked at me. I saw he was falling down and ran quickly and grabbed him.

"I kept asking him if he was all right and if he needed help."

As he cradled Damilola in his arms, waiting for the ambulance, he said three small boys wearing hooded tops came along.

'Always smiling'

He demonstrated to jurors a gesture made by one of the boys - with his left hand, he drew a line across his thigh. He said the boys then walked away.

The prosecution says the three boys had intended to rob Damilola - but he stood up to them.

His mother Gloria later told police he would have had nothing on him worth stealing, as he only carried his schoolwork.

The day he died, she had been called in to see his head teacher, following a complaint he had been fighting.

But head teacher Mark Parsons said the 10-year-old was "always smiling and was never disrespectful" and said he was just an excitable boy who needed to calm down.

The case continues.


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