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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Man cleared over Damilola murder
Hassan Jihad
The jury cleared Hassan Jihad of all three charges
One man has been cleared of stabbing schoolboy Damilola Taylor to death as he walked home in south London.

Hassan Jihad, 20, of Peckham, south London, was found not guilty of murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob, following the 10-year-old's death.

Damilola bled to death from a wound to the leg in a Peckham stairwell in 2000.

The jury has been sent home for the night and will resume deliberating its verdicts on the same charges against two brothers aged 17 and 18 on Tuesday.

The judge told the seven women and four men that they could reach majority verdicts on the charges against the other defendants.

Fatally wounded

Four youths aged under 18 were all cleared of killing Damilola following a trial in 2002.

Damilola had been attending an after-school computer club at Peckham library before being found fatally wounded.

Mr Jihad told the court that he could not explain why a fibre matching those on Damilola's sweatshirt had been found on a pair of his trousers.

Defence counsel argued up to 600 sweatshirts from the boy's school could have been in circulation in Peckham at that time, and the fibre could have been picked up in any number of places.

The prosecution had claimed Mr Jihad and the two brothers, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the younger, attacked Damilola with a broken bottle in an attempted robbery.

But an expert who was a witness for the defence told the court Damilola could have died after falling on to a glass bottle.

Profile: Damilola Taylor
03 Apr 06 |  UK

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