A 15-year-old who stabbed black teenager Dea-John Reid to death has been sentenced to six and a half years for manslaughter.
A judge at Birmingham Crown Court today rejected a request to lift an order protecting the identity of the boy, who was told he would serve his six-and-a-half-year sentence in juvenile detention.
Dea-John Reid, 14, was ‘stalked’ along the street at around 7.30pm on May 31 last year in Kingstanding, Birmingham, before he was fatally stabbed once in the heart outside McDonalds on College Road, New Oscott.
In a victim impact statement read in court on Friday, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, said her “beautiful” son, an unarmed future footballer and dentist, was “chased by a lynching mob reminiscent of a scene of the Mississippi Burning.’
In handing down his sentence, Judge Johnson said the boy pursuing Dea-John, 14 – who was acquitted of the murder – shouted ‘disgusting’ and ‘terrible racist’ slurs as he pursued him.
The judge told the 15-year-old, who wore gloves and a balaclava to carry out the murder on the Bank Holiday Monday last May: “CCTV shows there was a concerted pursuit of Dea-John, who was led by you and which involved four others.
“If an adult did what you did, it would almost certainly be murder and he would be sentenced to life imprisonment.”
A 15-year-old who stabbed to death black teenager Dea-John Reid, 14 (pictured) outside McDonalds on College Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham on May 31 last year, has been sentenced to six years and half. for manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday
In her victim impact statement, read in court by family friend Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, Dea-John Reid’s mother, Joan Morris, said her son was stabbed after the killer deliberately picked up a kitchen knife, placed it in his sweatpants, then chased Dea-John with a knife raised in the air in front of witnesses while wearing a balaclava.
After attending the trial and watching the final moments of her son’s life on CCTV footage, Ms Morris said the manslaughter verdict and acquittal of four other defendants added insult to injury. ‘insult.
She said: ‘This verdict of manslaughter, while the others are all found not guilty, just proves to me that the life of Dea-John Reid, my son, a young black man, didn’t matter .
In a victim impact statement read in court on Friday, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, said her “beautiful” son, an unarmed future footballer and dentist, was “chased by a lynching mob reminiscent of a scene of the Mississippi Burning’
“It just underscores the ongoing question: ‘Do black lives really matter?
“As far as I am concerned, many will say that this young man was held responsible for the murder of my son, but I wonder if the roles were reversed, what could have been the verdict?
“I believe that a system I decided to trust completely failed me, my family, my community, including Dea-John’s friends.”
The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of the murder but found guilty of manslaughter following a trial in March.
On the day of the murder, the convicted 15-year-old was driven around the Kingstanding area in search of Dea-John, who was chased through a park and racially assaulted from the car.
After being stabbed, Dea-John lifted his t-shirt, shivered and collapsed before his attacker fled, leaving him to die.
Dea-John Reid, 14, was ‘chased’ along the street at around 7.30pm on May 31 last year in Kingstanding, Birmingham (pictured), before being fatally stabbed once in the heart
The court heard the attack was in retaliation for one of the group members who was assaulted for his bag.
Prosecutor Richard Wormald QC said a gang had hunted him ‘like a pack chasing their prey’ as part of a ‘plan for revenge’.
Michael Shields, 36, George Khan, 39, and two other youngsters were all cleared of the murder while Hollie Davies, 36, was found not guilty of aiding an offender.
Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, of West Midlands Police, said afterwards: “Dea-John was a 14 year old boy – just a kid with his whole life ahead of him.
“He had no convictions or caveats; he was an innocent boy.
“To have lost his life in such a horrific way, shattering all the hopes his family had of seeing him grow up, is absolutely tragic.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Johnson said the boy chasing Dea-John, 14 (pictured) – who was acquitted of murder – shouted ‘disgusting’ and ‘terrible racist’ abuse as he pursued him .
‘I can’t imagine how it must feel for the family, not only to lose a son in such tragic circumstances, but also to witness this trial, seeing graphic CCTV of your child’s final moments unfold in a courtroom.
“We worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to bring this case to a jury, which delivered its verdicts.”
In her heartbreaking statement, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, continued, “Dea-John Reid, my son, my son-in-law, is no longer with us.
“He was my son, a brother, an uncle and a nephew, a cousin and a friend.
“Monday, May 31, 2021 will be a day in my life that I will never forget.
‘After watching my son bounce back with life he went out to play football and never came back despite me speaking to him around 7pm on the evening of May 31, 2021, telling me he would be home in 40 minutes, which never came.
“The only call I received was from a friend telling me that my son had been injured at Kingstanding and that I had to go there, which I duly did, only to see in the middle of College Road a blue tent behind a police cordon for I was told my son was lying on the ground in the tent dead from being stabbed I was told I can’t visit my son or cuddle him.
In her heartbreaking statement, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, said: “This verdict of manslaughter, while the others are all found not guilty, proves to me that the life of Dea-John Reid, my son , a young black man , doesn’t matter Pictured at his son’s wake on June 6 last year
The judge told the 15-year-old, who wore gloves and a balaclava to carry out the murder on the Bank Holiday Monday last May: “CCTV shows there was a concerted pursuit of Dea-John, who was carried out by you and which involved four others. Pictured is the scene of the murder
“Suddenly my youngest baby at the age of 14 was gone and all I was told was that I can’t even see him. The next time I saw him was in a morgue in Coventry.
“I realized that my son Dea-John, an aspiring footballer who wanted to be a dentist, had been ripped from my life, breaking my heart to pieces, by the actions of others, forever.
“Dea-John was there for me, making me a cup of tea, taking my meds. We had a fantastic relationship, which was abruptly destroyed by the actions of others.
“The last act of love I could show my son was making sure he got the send off he deserved.
“While family members of the abuser may visit their loved one and possibly see them released into the community, my only visit to Dea-John is at a grave in a cemetery.
“My only reunion with Dea-John may well be if I am still in this country, to join him in his grave when the Lord calls me home.”