Great Britain

Three teens found guilty of killing 15-year-old music producer Tashaûn Aird in Somerford Grove

Romaine Williams-Reid

Romaine Williams-Reid

met

Three teenagers have been found guilty of killing 15-year-old Tashaûn Aird, after allegedly setting out to attack rival gang members.

Tashaûn Aird, 15, died after he was allegedly stabbed in Hackney on Monday, May 6. Picture: Met PoliceTashaûn Aird, 15, died after he was allegedly stabbed in Hackney on Monday, May 6. Picture: Met Police

Tashaûn, a music producer known as Dotz, was knifed nine times in the chest in Somerford Grove, Stoke Newington, on May 1, with the fatal blow penetrating 11cm deep to pierce his lung.

A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, of Romford, were accused of his murder. A fourth defendant, Cayden Stuart, died in custody aged 16 while awaiting trial.

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for 15 hours to find the 15-year-old defendant guilty of murder and his co-defendants guilty 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.

Loved ones left flowers at the scene. Picture: Polly HancockLoved ones left flowers at the scene. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tashaûn and his friends had been sitting in Somerford Grove when the group descended on them "intent on violence" according to the prosecution.

During the six-week trial, jurors were shown CCTV footage of the 15-year-old "repeatedly lunging" at Tashaûn "with an over-arm motion".

They were also shown images of his 16-year-old friend being stabbed in the back by Stuart, before Reid-Williams stole his bike and made off on it.

The court heard no evidence to suggest either victim was connected to the alleged gang target.

The tributes on the Somerford Grove Estate. Picture: Polly HancockThe tributes on the Somerford Grove Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

The three boys have been were remanded into custody and will be sentenced on January 24.

In a statement, Tashaûn's family said they collectively feel "damaged beyond repair".

"Our beautiful and talented Tashaûn was just 15 years old when he was attacked and murdered, in what was a senseless and unprovoked attack on him," they said.

"There can be no comfort to us other than these individuals being off the streets and out of harm's way.

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"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 1 May.

"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. The family who were once a family of four are now a family of three, which leaves me, Tashaun's sister, without my baby brother, the final piece to our family puzzle. Our mother, and our father, without their son, their handbag.

"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.

"Life will never be the same again for us and no sentence for taking our Prince's life could ever be enough."

During the eight-week trial, the court heard how Williams-Reid had been in contact with one of Tashaûn's friends and was determined to find and hurt him after accusing him of being in a gang.

He made contact with his co-defendants telling them Tashaûn was in the park by Somerford Grove.

The two toher youths took an Uber to the park with Stuart where they met up with Williams-Reid, before all three ran towards Tashaûn and his friends as they launched their attack.

The group ran in fear of the lives, and Tashaûn and his 16-year-old friend were stabbed.

Detectives trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and pieced together the defendants' movements before the murder, during the violent attack and after they had left the scene.

The three defendants, who were affiliated with a gang, had a history of violence and hostility towards Tashaûn in the months before he was murdered.

Det Ch Insp Helen Rance who led the investigation, said: "It was clear that the group worked together and had a clear intention that day to target Tashaûn.

"Tashaûn 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.

"I would like to thank Taushan's family for their support with our investigation and throughout the trial. I would also like to thank the witnesses who have showed strength and courage in attending court.

"Finally, thank you to the investigation team for their hard work and dedication to the case. They have worked tirelessly to piece together the evidence to bring those responsible to justice."

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