Damilola Taylor's mother dies

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The Independent Online

The mother of stabbed schoolboy Damilola Taylor has died of a suspected heart attack, police said today.







Gloria Taylor, one of Britain's most outspoken campaigners for underprivileged young people, collapsed while walking with her husband Richard in Shooters Hill, south-east London, last night.



The 57-year-old was taken to hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead a short while later, Scotland Yard said.



Nigerian-born Damilola, 10, bled to death on a stairwell in the run-down North Peckham estate in south London in November 2000 after being stabbed in the leg with a broken beer bottle.



He had been in Britain for only a few months when he was attacked while walking home from the local library after school.



The tragedy came to symbolise youth crime in Britain and Mrs Taylor and her husband dedicated themselves to working for underprivileged young people.



The Damilola Taylor Trust was launched to mark the first anniversary of Damilola's death on November 2001.



Mrs Taylor later said the trust aimed to provide hope and opportunities for Britain's "downtrodden and underprivileged youth".



"Damilola lost his life because of enormous problems in this society. Our son wanted to be a doctor," she said.



"He was a leader and we are sure he would have been extraordinary.



"We would like the trust to heal many of the ills faced by today's youth."



In 2006, teenage street robbers Danny and Ricky Preddie were eventually found guilty of Damilola's manslaughter and jailed for eight years at the Old Bailey.



The conviction came after three trials and two police investigations, parts of which were strongly criticised.



A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "Police were called at about 7.45pm on 8 April by London Ambulance Service to reports of a woman taken ill on the street in Shooters Hill, SE18.



"Local officers and London Ambulance Service were in attendance and a woman in her 50s was taken by ambulance to hospital suffering a suspected heart attack and was pronounced life extinct at 8.29pm.



"A post-mortem examination will take place in due course.



"The incident is being investigated by local borough officers and is currently being treated as non suspicious."

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