5th August, 2010
It cost Â£16million and took six years to bring the killers of Damilola Taylor to justice.
But one of them will be freed next month – less than four years after being jailed for the schoolboyâ€™s manslaughter.
Damilolaâ€™s father, Richard Taylor, yesterday spoke of his torment after learning about Ricky Preddieâ€™s imminent release.
He fears Preddie, 23, is the â€˜same arrogantâ€™ individual who appeared in court and will continue his life of crime.
Damilola, ten, bled to death after being stabbed with a broken bottle on a council estate in Peckham, South-East London, in November
Ricky Preddie was 13 at the time of the attack. His brother, Danny, then just 12, is due to be released early next year.
Sentencing the brothers in October 2006, an Old Bailey judge said that neither had shown any remorse.
Yet, next month he is due to be released from high-security Swaleside Prison in Kent and is expected to settle in London.
Mr. Taylor, 62, said Preddie had not spent long enough in prison to be able to reform and could wreak new â€˜havoc.â€™
He also condemned the timing of the release, just two months before the tenth anniversary of his sonâ€™s death.
He said: ”Iâ€™m very disappointed because I havenâ€™t been told anything.
”I hope they have reformed, but I know theyâ€™ve had access to communication with their friends from the past.
”Such a short time in prison is not enough after such a heinous crime.”
For Mr. Taylor and his wife, Gloria, who died in 2008, the years after Damilolaâ€™s death brought further anguish in the courts.
A first trial, involving four other youths, collapsed in 2002 after a bungled initial probe by the Met.
The brothers were finally prosecuted in 2006 after a fresh investigation led by Chief Supt. Nick Ephgrave, who instigated a review of the evidence.