Danny O'Shea trial: Suspected mob organiser 'not violent', court hears
PUBLISHED: 13:27 18 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:27 18 April 2013
A man accused of organising a mob to carry out a murderous revenge attack on a teenager was a 'mediator' and not a violent person, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
Kevin Richards, 33, of North Circular Road, Willesden allegedly recruited a 10-strong gang of armed thugs to track down the culprits after Paul Boadi, 35, of Hertsmere Road, Poplar, was robbed of his BlackBerry mobile.
But 18-year-old Danny O’Shea, who was not connected to the phone theft, was stabbed to death yards from his front door in Butchers Road, Custom House a week later on December 2, 2011.
Christopher Nathaniel, 40, a sports agent, allegedly instigated the attack through Richards after Boadi, his business partner and flatmate, was mugged.
But character witness Sonia Poulton, a Daily Mail columnist who dated Richards’ father for four years, said she did not believe he was guilty because he was a ‘grounding influence’ to his peers.
She told the court: ‘It was horrific, I thought there had been a mistake because it didn’t make any sense to me and wasn’t in his character’, she told the court.
Ms Poulton said Richards was stabbed at the age of 15 which had a ‘profound effect’ on his attitude to life.
She said Richards did not fit the negative stereotype of young black men in London.
She said: ‘Kevin was the mediator. If there were any problems, he was the grounding influence.’
Boadi, Nathaniel, Richards, and six others all deny murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.