Care home criticised as resident is sentenced for murdering schoolboy

 

A private care home was criticised by a judge today as he sentenced a mentally ill resident to life for killing an innocent schoolboy.

Serif Aslan had not been taking his anti-psychotic medication and said he had kept a knife in his room for about a week.

As he walked past a school to go to his favourite cafe, Aslan made a remark about a girl and got into a fight with a schoolboy.

Kasey Gordon, 15, went to help the boy and was stabbed through the heart and died on the pavement.

Three other boys were injured in what was described as "a scene of carnage" in West Green Road, Tottenham, north London, in January, last year.

Aslan, 34, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years.

He was given concurrent sentences of up to seven years for injuring the three other boys with the knife.

Aslan had lived in the care-in-the-community Ashness House home in nearby Phillip Lane for six years.

Staff were meant to ensure he took his medication twice a day and to conduct random searches of his room, where knives had been found twice before.

He had been arrested in the past for criminal offences including indecent assault and having an offensive weapon, and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Judge Richard Marks told Aslan: "It seems to me that better supervision may well have avoided the tragic events.

"It is plain that the systems in place at Ashness House to see that you took your medication were plainly wholly inadequate, certainly in the way they were implemented in your case."

The judge said if Aslan had been taking his medication, the amount in his blood would have been 4-6 times higher, indicating he may not have taken his tablets for a week.

In the previous month, he had become seriously ill with psychotic symptoms and paranoid ideas, leading to suspicions that he had twice not swallowed his pill after rushing to his room.

This should have put those entrusted with his care "on notice" that there was a pressing need to ensure he was taking his medication.

"This clearly did not happen," added the judge.

He said Kasey was a young boy who "happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time".

Judge Marks said: "The shocking nature of these terrible and tragic events, cannot be over-stated."

Aslan's illness had contributed substantially to his actions and he was to be returned to a psychiatric hospital to serve his sentence.

Impact statements from Kasey's family said they were devastated and would never get over his death.

His mother Verona said: "Kasey was the soul of my family. He was a born leader."

She said she was not seeking revenge, adding: "Nor do I have hatred in my heart for the man who took my son's life if he is truly mad."

The trial was told Aslan had been warned against carrying a knife and for his tendency to stare at young women.

He had been walking along the road with a £1.49 kitchen knife hidden in his hand with tissue paper, but he came upon the children.

Richard Horwell QC, prosecuting, said: "This main part of the incident lasted about 30 seconds and, when it was over, the defendant calmly walked away.

"He left behind a scene of considerable carnage. The knife that he had carried - the knife he had been told not to carry - was used by him to devastating effect."

The 16-year-old boyfriend, who like other surviving pupils cannot be identified, was stabbed in the chest but survived.

He told police in a video interview that Aslan told him: "Your girlfriend is very beautiful."

The youth said: "I told him to move on. He pushed me and said 'I will f*** you up'.

"I knew he had problems. He is always round my school. He is always looking at the girls, always making comments."

A 14-year-old boy was stabbed near his right hip bone and a second 14-year-old boy was treated for superficial cuts to the right side of his face.

PA

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment