Inquiry call as Damilola’s killer goes back to jail again

Have your say

The father of schoolboy Damilola Taylor has called for a public inquiry after one of his son’s killers was recalled to prison for a second time.

Richard Taylor is writing to the Prime Minister to ask for the inquiry into “how the system has failed so badly in this case”, the Damilola Taylor Trust said.

It comes as Ricky Preddie, one of the 10-year-old boy’s killers, was recalled to jail for a second time just 16 days after being released.

Preddie, who was jailed for eight years in 2006 for the manslaughter of the 10-year-old, was recalled to prison last night for breaching the terms of his licence after he entered an exclusion zone in Southwark, south London, and might have met former gang members.

He was released from Pentonville Prison in north London on January 25.

Gary Trowsdale, a spokesman for the trust, said Damilola’s killers had never shown any remorse or reform and answers were needed about the handling of their case.

“The Taylor family, society at large, and also the boys themselves have been failed by the system and the academics that run it,” he said.

“Now we are demanding answers and believe a public inquiry is the only way of getting them.”

He went on: “Richard Taylor, supported by the Damilola Taylor Trust and other victim families, is writing to the Prime Minister calling for a public inquiry into how the system has failed so badly in this case.

“For the second time in 18 months, the boy has been recalled due to breaking the terms of his licence.”

Mr Trowsdale added: “Once again, Richard was informed by the media before the probation service let him know.”

The killing of Damilola was a hugely high-profile case, he said, “and, due to two bungled trials, it took £16m in total to put the two boys into the prison system for four years”.

“During this period there were many reported incidents of their continuing to break the law. There was never a hint of remorse or reform.”

Preddie, 24, was originally released in September 2010 but sent back to jail last March for breaking the conditions of his licence.

After being released again two weeks ago, he was arrested at an address in London last night.

On both occasions, he was recalled after being seen in Southwark, south London, and associating with gang members.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the probation union Napo, said: “It will be treated seriously by the authorities and he could now serve as much as another 14 months in custody.”

Damilola’s death in November 2000 shocked the nation. He was jabbed in the thigh with a broken beer bottle by a gang of youths as he walked home from the local library after school.

The youngster was found bleeding to death in a stairwell near his home in Peckham, south London.