May 22 2013 Latest news:
Melissa York, Reporter
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
A sports agent accused of being part of a gang who stabbed and beat a Custom House teenager to death once helped former Prime Minister Tony Blair launch an anti-knife crime campaign, a court heard yesterday.
Christopher Nathaniel, 40, said he travelled to Manchester to help launch the campaign while giving evidence at the Old Bailey where he is on trial with nine other men accused of killing 18-year-old Danny O’Shea in Custom House on December 2, 2011 in a revenge attack over a stolen BlackBerry phone.
The teenager died after being beaten with baseball bats and stabbed in the throat yards from his mother’s home in Gill Avenue, the trial has heard.
The court was told that after the launch of the campaign Mr Blair asked to meet Nathaniel again to find out about his work with gangs through his business NVA.
He added that the former Prime Minister had shown an interest in what he was doing in the community, adding: “He said he would like to meet us and see what we were doing to help young people.”
Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, previously said the defendants travelled to the area to “exact revenge” after Natheniel’s business partner Boadi’s mobilephone was stolen a week earlier.
Eight of the men hired a minibus to travel to Custom House on the evening of the killing, while Boadi and Nathaniel travelled in taxis, the court heard.
All of the accused deny murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
The defendants are Nathaniel and Boadi, both of Docklands; David Hylton, 47, from Holborn; Andrew Johnson, 35, Paul Johnson, 33, and O’Neil Wareham, 30, all from Harrow; Ferron Perue, 24, from Birmingham; Kevin Richards, 32, from Harlesden; Nugent Rowe, 29, from Pinner; and Scott Marius, 44, from Clinton Villas, west London.
The trial continues.