Who are Damilola Taylor’s parents Richard and Gloria?

3 weeks ago 5

DAMILOLA Taylor was just 10 years old when he was brutally murdered in Peckham, South London.

His parents Richard and Gloria Taylor overcame the crippling heartache of losing their son to eventually see his killers brought to justice after six years.

 Damilola's parents Richard and Gloria were tireless anti-knife campaigners

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Damilola's parents Richard and Gloria were tireless anti-knife campaignersCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

Who are Richard and Gloria Taylor?

They are the parents of Damilola Taylor who was slashed to death on November 27, 2000 soon after leaving Peckham library in South London.

Little Damilola came to Britain with his family from Angola as they sought treatment for his sister Beme's severe epilepsy.

They settled in Peckham, South London, and became a popular and well settled part of the community.

At 4.51pm  he was seen leaving the library as he happily made his way home.

But just 15 minutes later he was attacked with a broken bottle, and artery in his leg slashed and he bled to death on a flat block stairwell.

Richard, now 72, has been an avid anti-knife campaigner for years and has ceaselessly worked to prevent kids turning to knife crime.

In September 2020 he spoke out on Good Morning Britain to say that "nothing had really changed" in the 20 years since his son's death.

Gloria Taylor was also a Nigerian activist.

She wanted to provide opportunities for Britain's "downtrodden and underprivileged youth."

Gloria sadly died on April 8, 2008 after a suspected heart attack.

 Damilola Taylor was knifed to death shortly after he had left Peckham library in November 2000

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Damilola Taylor was knifed to death shortly after he had left Peckham library in November 2000Credit: PA:Press Association

How did Richard and Gloria fight for justice?

Damilola's devastated parents worked endlessly with determined police detectives to help track down his killers.

The police were met with a wall of silence during their investigations as local loyalties and fear of reprisals meant leads progressed at a snail's pace.

But eventually, after two failed Crown Court trials, Damilola's killers were put behind bars thanks to fresh DNA evidence.

Thugs Danny and Ricky Preddie were only 12 and 13 years old when they killed Damilola.

Members of the notorious Young Peckham Boys gang, they had already been terrorising the local area for years.

Danny was rarely out of supervision or detention and at the time of Damilola’s killing, should have been subject to a 24-hour curfew in a social services home.

Ricky Preddie, 13 at the time of the killing, also had a history of violence and theft. He was also supposed to have been under supervision when the schoolboy was killed.

But Richard and Gloria's continued fight to keep the memory of Damilola alive helped bring his killers to justice.

The Preddies were found guilty of manslaughter on 9 August 2006, and were jailed for eight years, with Ricky released halfway through his sentence in 2010 and Danny the following year.

Ricky was sent back to jail in 2011 for breaching his parole by going to Peckham and mingling with gang members, and again the following year after being caught with a stolen motorbike.

 Danny and Ricky Preddie were found guilty of manslaughter six years after Damilola's death

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Danny and Ricky Preddie were found guilty of manslaughter six years after Damilola's deathCredit: PA:Press Association

When did Gloria Taylor die?

Brave mum Gloria Taylor died aged 57 on April 8, 2008.

She suffered a heart attack while walking with husband Richard on Shooters Hill in south east London.

Nick Ephgrave, the detective who caught the Preddies, said Gloria's dignity and determination was important in bringing justice to her son's killers.

 Gloria Taylor died in 2008 following a suspected heart attack

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Gloria Taylor died in 2008 following a suspected heart attackCredit: Central News

What is the Damilola Taylor Trust?

The Damilola Taylor Trust was set up to help improve the lives of underprivileged children.

It runs a number of programmes including internship schemes, educational courses, and mentoring projects.

It was launched with the support of former footballer Rio Ferdinand.

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"Damilola lost his life because of enormous problems in this society," Gloria said as she launched the charity.

"Our son wanted to be a doctor. 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."

Damilola Taylor is remembered in a moment of silence at his Brother's wedding 19 years after his death

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