Page last updated at 20:59 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 21:59 UK

Mother of stabbed Damilola dies

Gloria Taylor
Mrs Taylor devoted her life to helping deprived youngsters

The mother of schoolboy Damilola Taylor, who was killed in an attack on a south London estate, has died from a suspected heart attack.

Gloria Taylor, 57, collapsed at about 1945 BST on Tuesday while walking with her husband in south-east London.

Danny and Rickie Preddie are serving eight-year terms for the manslaughter of Damilola, who was 10 when he was stabbed in Peckham in 2000.

Mrs Taylor had been a campaigner against knife crime.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Mrs Taylor collapsed in Shooters Hill, and was taken to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination will take place in due course, the spokesman said.

The incident is not being treated as suspicious.

Solicitor Neil O'May, who has worked with the Taylors since Damilola's killing, said: "Everyone who knew her well found her enormous integrity and deep warmth enormously invigorating."

Broken beer bottle

After the death of her son, Mrs Taylor dedicated her life to working for underprivileged young people.

The Damilola Taylor Trust was launched to mark the first anniversary of Damilola's death in November 2001.

Mrs Taylor said the trust aimed to provide hope and opportunities for Britain's "downtrodden and underprivileged youth".

Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "I'm sure that, like me, many people were moved by the dignified and impressive way that Gloria and Richard Taylor dealt with the tragedy of Damilola's terrible death and the high profile inquiries that followed it.

"I know that their fortitude throughout the three criminal trials, together with their almost unshakeable faith that the truth would be known, was a great comfort and inspiration to the officers and staff who worked so hard on the investigations."

Damilola died after being stabbed in the leg with a broken beer bottle.

The Nigerian-born youngster had been in Britain for only a few months when he was attacked while walking home from the local library after school.

He bled to death in a stairwell on the run-down North Peckham estate, in south London.

The Preddie brothers were convicted of Damilola's manslaughter six years later after three trials and two police investigations, parts of which were strongly criticised.





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