• Boy’s father makes impassioned plea to end London street killings
Nigerian-born British actress, Wunmi Mosaku, has won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the TV drama ‘Damilola, Our Loved Boy’, seeing off competition from Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax).
The story of Damilola Taylor, a Nigerian boy, who was killed in Peckham, London, in 2000, and the final conviction of his murderers, was widely reported in the Nigerian and British press.
Then in November 2016, a 90-minute television drama depicting the events leading to his death and the Taylor family’s search for justice premiered on the BBC.
The BAFTA Awards held at Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, was hosted by Sue Perkins and attended by British TV’s biggest stars including Ant and Dec, Olivia Colman, Thandie Newton and Ed Balls.
This year’s BAFTA nominations were ruled by The Crown with five nods, followed by BBC3’s Fleabag, BBC1’s Happy Valley and one-off BBC drama Damilola, Our Loved Boy – all with three nominations.
According to Radio Times, in order to be eligible for this year’s shortlist, programmes must have aired between 1st January and 31st December 2016, meaning the likes of Taboo, Broadchurch and The Moorside were not considered for the ceremony.
Damilola was a 10-year-old Nigerian schoolboy who died in England in what became one of Britain’s most high-profile killings. Several young boys were cleared of murder charges after a lengthy trial, and later two brothers were convicted of manslaughter.
Damilola was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to Richard and Gloria Taylor. He attended Wisdom Montessori School, Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos, before he travelled to the United Kingdom in August 2000 with his family to allow his sister Gbemi to seek treatment for epilepsy.
According to Wikipedia, on 27 November 2000, Taylor set off from Peckham Library at 4.51 p.m. to make his way home. He was captured on CCTV as he walked away.
On approaching the North Peckham Estate he received a gash to his left thigh. Running to a stairwell, he collapsed and bled to near death in the space of approximately 30 minutes. He was still alive in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
Different forensic scientists have presented different events that could have given Taylor his fatal wounds. The theory accepted by the Metropolitan Police was that he was attacked and fell on a broken bottle, later bleeding to death. He died 10 days before his 11th birthday.
Meanwhile, at the BAFTA Awards, the boy’s father, Mr. Taylor, begged young people to stop the string of killings on the streets of London as he collected an award for the drama about the death of his son.
Damilola, Our Loved Boy was also awarded the prize for best single drama at the BAFTAs, where Mr. Taylor made an emotional speech hours after an 18-year-old man died in Enfield, north London, after suffering stab wounds.
Scotland Yard said he was the 10th teenager to have been killed in the capital in 2017, reported the London-based Independent newspaper.
Mr. Taylor was joined by Damilola’s brother Tunde and the production team as he said: “I want to dedicate this to the memory of Damilola Taylor and Gloria, my late wife, and first and foremost send a strong appeal to young people on the street killing themselves.
“Parents are crying, others are crying, the surge of killings has gone up in the city of London, I beg you all to stop this unnecessary killing of innocent people.
“Young people, spread the message.”
His impassioned plea came shortly after the teenager was killed and two others injured in the latest surge of knife attacks in the British capital.