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.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower