Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Damilola: The Key Blunder

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Damilola: The Key Blunder

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT;CHRIS MILLAR

CRUCIAL evidence presented to the jury about the murder of Damilola Taylor was seriously flawed.

The Evening Standard has conducted its own inquiry into a key area of the case which centres on mobile phone records which it was thought placed two 16-year-old brothers too far from the murder scene. The boys were cleared of murdering the 10-year-old yesterday.

The trial judge Mr Justice Hooper told the jury that a series of calls made on the brothers' two mobiles seven minutes after Damilola was fatally wounded were crucial to the case.

He said that someone committing the murder could not have made those calls unless they could run a four minute mile. He told the jury he had mapped out a route of 1.8miles between the murder scene and the location of the calls.

In fact the Evening Standard has proved that the shortest distance is nearer 1.3 miles and our reporter covered it within the seven minutes.

The vital evidence centres on five calls made from two mobile phones belonging to the brothers.

Phone records showed the calls were made from a different cell phone area to that of the murder scene in North Peckham, placing them near a children's home in Bermondsey where they were seen later that evening.

The records showed the phones were used between the times of 4.47pm and 4.52 pm on the day of the murder.

Working from the time of the 999 call it is accepted that Damilola was attacked sometime between 4.40pm and 4.45pm.

This gave the boys no more than seven minutes to cover the 1.8 mile distance which the judge accepted was involved, the court heard.

The defence in the trial put forward a compelling argument that if the suspects had made these calls they would have had to have run an Olympic standard time from the murder scene to the children's home.

However, what the jury did not hear was that there was a much shorter route through Burgess Park than the one mapped out in court. …

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