Damilola killers given eight-year sentences

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The Independent Online

Damilola Taylor's father has criticised the eight-year sentences given to his son's killers, which means they could be free in three years.

Dannie and Rickie Preddie, aged 18 and 19 respectively, of south London, who were convicted of manslaughter at the Old Bailey in August, have both spent long periods on remand, which means they could be released on parole in about three years.

Damilola, 10, bled to death after being cut in the thigh with a broken bottle during an attack by a gang in the stairwell of a block of flats near his home in Peckham, south London, in 2000.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Goldring stressed that he had to take into account that the pair were aged 12 and 13 at the time of the killing.

Damilola's father, Richard Taylor, said the case represented a "catalogue of failures", and added: "Today's convictions will not bring back Damilola and we question whether these sentences will act as an appropriate deterrent to other potential criminals."

The Preddie brothers were arrested shortly after Damilola's death but were released without charge. Four other youths were tried and cleared of Damilola's killing in 2002.

New DNA evidence led to the Preddie brothers and Hassan Jihad, 19, being charged with murder, but all were cleared by a jury in April this year. The Preddie brothers were retried on manslaughter charges.