The tragic murder of 10-year old Damilola Taylor in 2000 caused a nationwide outpouring of grief. Before the knife crime epidemic and daily news stories, the image of a smiling Damilola reverberated in the national psyche. Following his death, Damilola’s legacy includes the Damilola Taylor Trust, the Damilola Taylor Centre and the Manchester F1 Anti-Knife Crime Summit organised by Rod Bond.
On November 27 2000, 10-year old Damilola Taylor was captured on CCTV heading home after a visit to Peckham Library. It had only been two months since Damilola’s family had migrated from Nigeria, in search of treatment for his sister’s epilepsy. The chilling CCTV images were taken 15 minutes prior to Damilola being attacked. In circumstances that were contested during the course of three separate trials, Damilola received a gash to his left thigh. According to the final verdict, the gash was inflicted by a broken glass bottle. Following his injuries, Damilola bled to near death in a stairwell on an abandoned housing estate in Peckham. He was pronounced dead in the ambulance on route to the hospital. The exuberant and jovial personality in the photo of Damilola that accompanied reports of his murder captured the hearts of a nation. The contrast created by the circumstances in which he lost his young life emphasised the impact of his loss.
Alongside the Damilola Taylor Trust and the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham, Damilola’s murder also inspired the Manchester F1 Anti-Knife Crime Summit organised by Rod Bond. Popularly known as the F1 Summit, Manchester campaigner Rod Bond brings together a number of local groups, community leaders, businesses and celebrities to raise awareness about knife crime. The F1 Summit takes places in November annually. It promotes and supports various anti-knife crime campaigns and initiatives.