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They killed my son and wife’

PUBLISHED: 18:08 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 25 August 2010

Bexley
24-04-08
All Saints Church, Herbert Rd, Plumstead
Gloria Taylor funeral

Bexley 24-04-08 All Saints Church, Herbert Rd, Plumstead Gloria Taylor funeral

THE father of a murdered schoolboy said the boys who killed his son have taken his wife s life too.

THE father of a murdered schoolboy said the boys who killed his son have taken his wife's life too.

Hundreds of mourners attended All Saints Church, Plumstead, last Thursday, to pay their respects to the mother of Damilola Taylor.

Gloria Taylor died from a suspected heart attack on April 8 in Shooters Hill, Greenwich, aged just 57.

Minister for the Ministry of Justice, Eltham MP Clive Efford and news reader and patron of the Damilola Taylor Trust Trevor Macdonald attended the funeral.

After the service, husband Richard Taylor told reporters: "Gloria was the one who was at the scene when they found Damilola.

"That moment stayed with her for the rest of her life.

"You know, people always saw the strong side of Gloria. They saw that she supported all these people, that she was always fighting, that she was always laughing and helping others. But she suffered silently at home. She bottled things up and in the end the strain was too much for her heart."

Mrs Taylor was buried beside her son at Plumstead cemetery.

Aftter Damilola's death, Richard and Gloria Taylor campaigned consistently for justice for their son, only seeing his killers convicted two years after the incident after a catalogue of failures.

In 2006, brothers Danny and Ricky Preddie, who had been 12 and 13 at the time the attack took place, were convicted of Damilola's manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in jail.

Although angered by the sentence, the couple wanted something good to come out of the tragedy and concentrated on the Damilola Taylor Trust, a scholarship for medical students from poor backgrounds which they founded in 2001.

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

Mr Taylor said one of his wife's favourite ideas was a project to take young people from Peckham to Nigeria.

He said: "She wanted these youngsters who think of themselves as underprivileged to see what true poverty means."

Sir Trevor McDonald praised Mrs Taylor's "amazing warmth and compassion coupled with a humility that at times was hard to comprehend."

He added: "Everyone will have to work hard in striving to boost inner city local communities, some of the groundwork for which has been laid by the trust."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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