Plea for witnesses to baseball cap killing

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The Independent Online

A gang leader thought to be responsible for stabbing to death a 15-year-old boy for his baseball cap remains free despite the jailing of one of his accomplices. Police are struggling to obtain witnesses to testify against the 18-year-old prime suspect, known by his street name of Taliban.

A gang leader thought to be responsible for stabbing to death a 15-year-old boy for his baseball cap remains free despite the jailing of one of his accomplices. Police are struggling to obtain witnesses to testify against the 18-year-old prime suspect, known by his street name of Taliban.

A fellow gang member, Lasells Hazel, 17, was sentenced to 10 years yesterday at the Old Bailey for his role in the stabbing in west London. He was found guilty of manslaughter last month. Kieran Rodney-Davis died in the street in Fulham after he was mugged and stabbed once in the chest for his designer baseball cap.

Kieran had met a friend, 17, after going to buy blank CDs from a computer shop on 23 June last year. As they returned from the store they were approached by three masked youths. The youth known as Taliban, who was wearing a red bandanna, is said to have demanded: "Give me your change, give me your phone." One of the other two youths took out a knife and handed it to Taliban before stealing Kieran's £30 designer New Era cap from his head and hiding it behind his back.

As the teenager tried to get the hat back, Taliban warned him: "Do you want to get shanked?" and is then said to have stabbed him once in the chest. Taliban cleaned the knife blade with leaves from a bush before he, Hazel and the third youth ran into a park.

In an unusual move earlier in Hazel's trial, Judge Giles Forrester showed the jury a picture of the suspect. He said: "There is one person missing and that is Taliban. He should stand trial and whether he does is speculation." He added: "He stood on a number of parades. He has not been picked out."