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Dignified tribute to Damilola’s mother

PUBLISHED: 12:02 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:40 25 August 2010

LONDON - APRIL 04:  The parents of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, Gloria (L) and Richard (R) leave the Old Bailey with Damilola's older brother Tunde (C) on April 4, 2006 in London. Two teenage defendents were acquitted of murdering 10 year old Damilola on a South London housing estate in November 2000.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

LONDON - APRIL 04: The parents of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, Gloria (L) and Richard (R) leave the Old Bailey with Damilola's older brother Tunde (C) on April 4, 2006 in London. Two teenage defendents were acquitted of murdering 10 year old Damilola on a South London housing estate in November 2000. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

2006 Getty Images

THE mother of a murdered schoolboy has died suddenly from a suspected heart attack.

THE mother of a murdered schoolboy has died suddenly from a suspected heart attack.

Gloria Taylor, 57, died in hospital last Tuesday, after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest whilst out walking with her husband Richard in Shooters Hill.

Mrs Taylor campaigned against knife crime after her 10-year-old son, Damilola Taylor, was stabbed in the leg with a broken beer bottle and left to die on a stairwell in the North Peckham estate in November 2000.

In 2003 brothers Danny and Ricky Preddie were convicted of Damilola's manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in jail.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said his thoughts and those of 'many, many' colleagues were with the Taylor family.

He added: "I'm sure that, like me, many people were moved by the dignified and impressive way that Gloria and Richard Taylor dealt with the tragedy of Damilola's terrible death and the high profile inquiries that followed it.

"I know that their fortitude throughout the three criminal trials, together with their almost unshakeable faith that the truth would be known, was a great comfort and inspiration to Metropolitan Police officers and staff who worked so hard on the investigations."

In 2001 Mr and Mrs Taylor established a trust in Damilola's memory which offers scholarships for medical students from poor backgrounds.

A year later they set up the Damilola Taylor Centre in Peckham which provides sports and community activities.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said he was deeply saddened.

He said: "I was always struck by her dignity, courage and determination to give hope and opportunity for young people in London."

Mrs Taylor is survived by her husband and her son and daughter.

Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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