Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 10:49 UK

Death penalty call after killing

Jahmal Mason-Blair was pronounced dead at the scene
Jahmal Mason-Blair was pronounced dead at the scene

The father of Damilola Taylor is repeating his call for the death penalty to be reintroduced after the latest killing of a 17-year-old boy.

Richard Taylor, 61, whose 10-year-old son was fatally stabbed in south London in 2000, said he was "very, very upset" about the death of Jahmal Mason-Blair.

Jahmal, from Dalston, east London, died from a stab wound to the neck in Hackney, east London, on Saturday.

Police are continuing to question a 13-year-old boy over the stabbing.

He was arrested in east London on Saturday at 2030 BST and is being held at a local police station.

Knowing that we're not going to see you play football, or see that smile again - it will truly hurt us
Habeeb Adesanu

Richard Taylor has become a youth violence and knife crime campaigner following the death of his son who died after he bled to death after being attacked with a broken beer bottle in a stairwell in Peckham.

He said such killings still continued in spite of all recent crime-fighting efforts and he believes reintroducing the death penalty would act as a deterrent.

"If the death penalty was brought back, it would make people think twice," he said.

"The law should make them aware that if they take a life, it is a life for a life."

Jahmal, of Colvestone Crescent, whose friends said he dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, died in the early hours of Saturday.

He was found by police on routine patrol in Amhurst Road and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Damilola Taylor
Damilola Taylor bled to death on a stairwell in south London in 2000

A post-mortem examination carried out on Sunday found he died from a stab wound to the neck.

He had been given a trial at Reading Football Club but a spokesman confirmed he had not been offered a contract.

He had also represented Hackney in the London Cross Country relay while a pupil at Hackney Free and Parochial School, a specialist sports college.

Following the attack, more than 1,800 people joined a Facebook group set up in memory of the teenager.

The group's creator Habeeb Adesanu wrote: "Jahmal was a great son, great brother and a great friend and he will be dearly missed.

"Knowing that we're not going to see you play football, or see that smile again - it will truly hurt us."

Jahmal is the ninth teenager to die in violent circumstances in London this year.

In 2008, 28 teenagers were killed in violent incidents in the capital.



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SEE ALSO
Boy, 13, held over teenager death
24 May 09 |  London
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