Damilola's Father Says: Those Boys Killed My Son ; Exclusive: BBC Interview with Brothers Cleared of Murder `Shameful' Says Taylor

By Andrew Johnson, Sophie Goodchild and Colin Brown | The Independent (London, England), April 28, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Damilola's Father Says: Those Boys Killed My Son ; Exclusive: BBC Interview with Brothers Cleared of Murder `Shameful' Says Taylor


Andrew Johnson, Sophie Goodchild and Colin Brown, The Independent (London, England)


The father of Damilola Taylor told The Independent on Sunday last night that he is convinced the two brothers cleared of murdering his son had killed him.

"All the evidence in the case is pointing an accusing finger at them. They did it," said Mr Taylor.

He bitterly attacked the BBC for broadcasting an interview with the boys yesterday in which they insisted on their innocence. The brothers, aged 16, had refused to give evidence in the witness box.

He said by giving airtime to the pair, the BBC was risking turning them into "heroes" and "glamorising crime".

"I don't know why the BBC has done it, it is shameful," said Mr Taylor, "Those boys are still on probation and still under investigation. They have gone on the air to clean up their image, it is a cover up. But their image is already dented.

"If they had gone on to apologise for what they have done then it would be all right, but not if they want to go about bragging that they didn't do it," said Mr Taylor.

"It was very upsetting. What I expected them to do is apologise for wrongdoing, to show remorse, not to tell the world that they didn't do it. I'm convinced they did it."

Mr Taylor, a civil servant, said the BBC should have contacted him and his wife Gloria before broadcasting the interview. He said he was convinced the two did murder his son, who was stabbed in the leg with a broken bottle.

"The BBC should have waited to see what people's feelings were first," he said. "The BBC should have asked to speak to us as well. They didn't. They are glamorising crime, that they [the boys] have got away with it and are getting support from the media. They should hide their faces in shame rather than being allowed to go about telling the world they didn't do it."

One of the brothers told the BBC yesterday: "I never did it and I wasn't there - so sorry.

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