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Damilola dad slams killer's release

The father of schoolboy Damilola Taylor has criticised the imminent release of one of his son's killers.

Ricky Preddie, 23, is expected to leave jail next month after serving two-thirds of his eight-year jail sentence for manslaughter.

Richard Taylor said such a short time in prison was not enough and added the killer's release would only add to his pain ahead of the 10th anniversary of his son's death in November.

"Such a short time in prison is not enough after such a heinous crime," Mr Taylor told the London Evening Standard.

"It is just going to add to all the pain that I have suffered."

Mr Taylor, who set up the Damilola Taylor Trust to combat youth violence by promoting positive role models, added: "What I want now is to ensure that other young lives are not lost and that changes are made to offer positive opportunities to young people that will leave a proper legacy for my son."

Preddie, who was 13 at the time of the attack, and his brother Danny, who was 12, killed 10-year-old Damilola by jabbing his leg with a broken beer bottle in Peckham in November 2000.

They were found guilty of manslaughter following a retrial in August 2006. An earlier trial cleared them of murder and assault with intent to rob, but members of the jury could not agree on manslaughter.

Nigerian-born Damilola had been in Britain only a few months when he fell foul of the bullying brothers after walking home from the local library after school.

Sentencing the pair at the Old Bailey four years ago, Mr Justice Goldring explained that a life term was not appropriate as the brothers had not intended to kill.


From Belfast Telegraph