Thamesmead: Family of murdered teen launch legacy trust
PUBLISHED: 16:09 04 March 2011 | UPDATED: 13:24 05 March 2018
The family of a teenager who was stabbed to death by a racist thug 20 years ago plan to launch a legacy trust in his name.
Rolan Adams, 15, was attacked on the evening of February 21, 1991 when he was with his older brother in Thamesmead.
Mark Thornburrow was convicted of his murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Four other males were sentenced to 120 hours of community service for violent disorder.
His dad Richard Adams, from Lewisham, hopes to officially launch the scheme on March 20.
He said: “It’s been difficult, as a father I’ve had to support my wife, my son and my daughter who was seven at the time.
“It’s been really traumatic for her as a child to experience the rude awakening of a woman.
“The first two years was really emotional for us and we never felt that we were able to do anything like this before now.”
Through the legacy trust, relatives hope to organise gap years for youngsters who are caught up in crime.
Mr Adams said: “It’s a tried and tested scheme where people go to an underdeveloped country and take part in volunteering work.
“Something tangible needs to come from this. It’s about highlighting this issue.”
Prior to the murder Rolan and his brother had made their way to Thamesmead to visit a friend but decided to return home as he was not there.
They were confronted by a gang of white youths who taunted and jeered them whilst they were waiting at the bus stop in Carlyle Road in the unprovoked attack.
Mr Adams was then stabbed in the back and his brother Nathan who was 15 was chased across Thamesmead but managed to escape.
Two years after this attack, Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racially motivated attack in Eltham.
During a memorial service, held for him on February 21, the family retraced his last steps and laid a wreath at the spot where he died.