Tashaun Aird, 15, was stabbed in the chest and back in Hackney, east London, on May 1 last year, after fleeing from a group of teenagers who allegedly set out to attack the 'Red Pitch' gang. Three teenagers have been jailed for the killing of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed nine times after fleeing through a park.
Aspiring musician Tashaun Aird was knifed in the chest and back after he and his friends fled from their attackers in Hackney, east London on the evening of May 1 last year. A 16-year-old youth was found guilty of murdering Tashaun and wounding another 16-year-old boy with intent.
Judge Angela Rafferty QC said he "showed no mercy" as she sentenced him to life with a minimum term of 17 years, with a further four years to run concurrently. Accomplice Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter and two-and-a-half years, concurrent, for wounding. Another 16-year-old youth was jailed for 12 years for Tashaun's manslaughter and four years, concurrent, for wounding with intent. Tashaun managed to walk a short distance before he collapsed face-down on the ground. He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.
Two youths, aged 15 and 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and 18-year-old Romaine Williams-Reid were accused of his murder. A fourth defendant, 16-year-old Caden Stewart, became unwell in custody and died on June 27, 20 days after he was charged with murder.
In December, a jury deliberated for 15 hours to find the 15-year-old defendant guilty of murder and his co-defendants guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter by a majority of 11 to one. The two youths were also found guilty of wounding a 16-year-old boy with intent and Williams-Reid was found guilty of the lesser charge of wounding.
The Old Bailey heard how the 15-year-old defendant was excluded from school for five days after being caught with a Rambo-style knife in his trousers just over two months before the murder. Prosecutor Julian Evans had told how Tashaun was socialising with friends in Somerford Grove, in Hackney, north-east London, before the attack.
Earlier that day, Tashaun had told Williams-Reid that he was not part of the Red Pitch Hackney-based gang, jurors heard.Following the verdicts, Tashaun's family described the attack on the 15-year-old as "senseless and unprovoked". They said in a statement: "There can be no comfort to us other than these individuals being off the streets and out of harm's way. "However, no words could ever describe the pain, numbness and sheer anguish that we as a family have felt since he was taken away from us so suddenly on May 1.
No family should be put through what we have experienced these past seven months, you hear about knife crime and never expect it to be one of your own. "Our child was hunted down and brutally attacked, the actions of those responsible for his killing were cowardly as he was defenceless to it, he did not harm anybody, nor did he warrant this to happen to him. No family would ever expect their loved one not to return home.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Rance, of Scotland Yard, added: "It was clear that the group worked together and had a clear intention that day to target Tashaun. "The actions towards him were brutal and violent and have robbed a family of their son and brother. "Tashaun ran for his life and he was stabbed nine times - he stood no chance against his attackers who then left him lying in the street. "Tashaun had a passion for recording and producing music and had his whole future ahead of him. Now a family have to deal with this loss for the rest of their lives."