Judge at Birmingham Crown Court rejects application to lift order protecting identity of boy, who is told he will serve half his sentence in custody.
A 15-year-old boy who sta-bbed another teenager to death in a “revenge” att-ack has been sentenced to a six-and-a-half-year term of detention for mansla-ughter.
Dea-John Reid, 14, died from a single sta-b wound after being racially abu-sed in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham in May last year.
In a vic-tim impact statement read to the court on Friday, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, said her “handsome” son, a would-be footballer and dentist who was unarmed, had been “hun-ted by a ly-nch mob reminiscent of a scene from Mississippi Burning”.
CCTV footage of the ki-lling was seen by jurors, who heard Dea-John was att-acked in “revenge” following an earlier altercation in a park.
The youth defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, was cleared of m**der but con-victed of his mansla-ughter in March.
A judge at Birmingham Crown Court rejected an application to lift an order protecting the identity of the boy, who was told he will serve half his sentence in custody.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Johnson told the 15-year-old, who wore gloves and a balaclava to carry out the ki-lling: “The CCTV shows that there was a concerted chase of Dea-John, which was led by you and which involved four others.
“If an adult did what you did then that would almost certainly be m**der and they would be sentenced to life impr-isonment.”
Four other defendants – George Khan, 39, Michael Shields, 36, and two youths aged 15 and 16 – were previously acquitted of m**der charges, which they all denied.
Jurors also acquitted Hollie Davies, 36, of Waldon Walk, Birmingham, of assisting an off-ender by attempting to frustrate the inquiry into the ki-lling.
In her vic-tim impact statement, read to the court by family friend Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, Dea-John’s mother said her son was sta-bbed after the ki-ller deliberately picked up a kitchen kn-ife, placed it down his tracksuit trousers, and then chased Dea-John with the blade raised in the air in front of witnesses while wearing a balaclava.
After sitting through the trial and having to watch the last moments of her son’s life on CCTV footage, Ms Morris said the ver-dict of mansl-aughter and the acquittal of the four other defendants had added insult to injury.
She said: “This verdict of mansl-aughter, whilst the others are all found not gu-ilty, just goes to prove to me that the life of Dea-John Reid, my son, a young black man, didn’t matter.
“This only highlights the ongoing question: ‘Do black lives really matter?
”As far as I am concerned many will say that this young man has been held accountable for ki-lling my son, however I do wonder if the roles were reversed, what the verdict may well have been?
”I do believe that a system that I decided to trust has completely let me, my family, my community, including the friends of Dea-John, down.”
In tributes paid to Dea-John after his death, his family said: “This loss not only affects us but everyone Dea-John knew. We have lost a son, his siblings have lost a brother, and others have lost a friend.
“The passing of this incredibly talented young boy will be felt by us all. How many more mothers will have to mourn for their sons for this to stop?”
Source: The Independent