Three teenagers who stabbed 15-year-old are jailed for 41 years

Three teenagers who stabbed 15-year-old aspiring musician to death with Rambo and zombie knives are jailed for total of 41 years

  • Tashaun Aird was knifed nine times in the chest and back in May 2019
  • Attack took place in Somerford Gardens in Hackney in broad view of the public
  • A 16-year-old was found guilty of murder and another of manslaughter
  • Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, who played a lesser role, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter 
  • The judge claimed: ‘It may be that his music was somehow connected to this attack but it is unlikely we will ever truly know.’

Three teenagers have been locked up for killing a 15-year-old aspiring musician in a pre-planned gang attack.

Tashaun Aird was knifed nine times in the chest and back after he and his friends fled through a Hackney park on the evening of May 1 last year.

Following an Old Bailey trial, a 16-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of murdering Tashaun and wounding a 16-year-old boy with intent.

Aspiring musician Tashaun Aird, 15, was stabbed to death in east London on May 1 last year

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.

Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, who played a lesser role, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter and two-and-a-half years, concurrent, for wounding.

Tashaun was knifed nine times in the chest and back after he and his friends fled through a Hackney park

Another 16-year-old youth was jailed for 12 years for Tashaun’s manslaughter and four years, concurrent, for wounding with intent.

The judge told the defendants: ‘A group of unarmed young people posing no threat whatsoever to you were attacked by you in the park.

‘Tashaun was set upon and stabbed eight times. The fatal stab wound was delivered outside the park when he was absolutely defenceless.

‘It is my view that Tashaun was not part of the gang at all. In fact, he even said as much to you.’

She said the ‘planned and targeted attack’ was in full view of members of the public and involved the use of weapons including a Samurai sword, a zombie knife and a rambo knife.

Tashaun was said to have had a ‘passion for music’ and his family only learned he had been accepted by a music college after his death.

The judge said: ‘It may be that his music was somehow connected to this attack but it is unlikely we will ever truly know.’  

Neither victim was connected with the targeted gang, she said, adding: ‘This was a terrible waste of a young life.’

Just three months earlier in February 2019 the aspiring musician, who produced afrobeat and drill music, told his mother one of the gang members had stabbed him in a bid to kill him.  

A fourth defendant, 16-year-old Caden Stewart, became unwell in custody and was transferred to hospital where he died on June 27, 20 days after he was charged with murder.

During the trial, prosecutor Julian Evans had told how Tashaun, who had been attacked before, was socialising with friends in Somerford Gardens in Hackney, north-east London.

Earlier that day, he had told Williams-Reid that he was not part of the Red Pitch Hackney-based gang, jurors heard.

Members of the victim’s family were seen at the estate in Hackney, last year carrying flowers

Police in Hackney, east London, after the 15-year-old was stabbed to death

Williams-Reid then spoke to Stewart who set off in an Uber taxi with the other defendants, the court heard.

Mr Evans said Williams-Reid had been keeping watch on Tashaun and his friends before the others arrived ‘intent on violence’.

As the targeted group scattered, the two youths, both armed with blades, ran after Tashaun and one of them repeatedly ‘lunged’ at him.

A tent was erected in Hackney as police investigated the murder which took place last May

Meanwhile, Stewart, who was said to have had a sword, chased after the 16-year-old victim and stabbed him in the back, the court heard.

Tashaun managed to get out of the park and sought refuge for a time by a nearby house but was hunted down and stabbed again by the same youth, who was convicted of murder.

The youths made off in the Uber and Williams-Reid cycled away on the injured boy’s bike, jurors were told.

The 16-year-old victim, bleeding from a wound in his back, sought help in a nearby shop and went on to make a full recovery. 

Family members leave flowers at the scene in Hackney on May 2 following the stabbing

Police officers investigate the scene in Hackney after the boy was stabbed to death

Tashaun managed to walk a short distance before he collapsed face-down on the floor. He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.

A post-mortem examination found nine wounds, with a fatal 11cm-deep stab wound to the chest.

Williams-Reid, from Romford, east London, and the two boys, from Hackney, denied all the charges against them.

Tashaun’s family said: ‘Our beautiful and talented Tashaun was just 15 years old when he was attacked and murdered, in what was a senseless and unprovoked attack on him.

Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, who played a lesser role, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter and two-and-a-half years, concurrent, for wounding

‘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.’

 

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