Boy, 15, who chased black teen and stabbed him to death in scene like 'Mississippi Burning' jailed for 6 years

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Jamie  Micklethwaite

By Jamie Micklethwaite

Published: 06/05/2022

- 13:19

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:32

The teenager, who is not being named, is likely to serve half of his sentence behind bars, with the family of the victim saying it added insult to injury

A 15-year-old youth who stabbed to death black teenager Dea-John Reid in Birmingham has been sentenced to a six-and-a-half-year term of detention for manslaughter.

A judge at Birmingham Crown Court rejected an application to lift an order protecting the identity of the boy, who was told he will serve half his sentence in custody.

In a victim impact statement read to the court on Friday, Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, said her “handsome” son, a would-be footballer and dentist who was unarmed, had been “hunted by a lynch mob reminiscent of a scene from Mississippi Burning.”

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Johnson said a man who chased 14-year-old Dea-John in Kingstanding in May last year – who was acquitted of murder – had shouted “disgusting” and “terrible racist” abuse.

The judge told the 15-year-old, who wore gloves and a balaclava to carry out the killing: “The CCTV shows that there was a concerted chase of Dea-John, which was led by you and which involved four others.

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Dea-John Reid who has been named as the 14-year-old who was fatally stabbed in Kingstanding, Birmingham on Monday. Issue date: Wednesday June 2, 2021.
Dea-John Reid
West Midlands Police

“If an adult did what you did then that would almost certainly be murder and they would be sentenced to life imprisonment.”

In her victim impact statement, read to the 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 down his tracksuit trousers, and then chased Dea-John with a knife raised in the air in front of witnesses while wearing a balaclava.

After sitting through the trial and having to watch the last moments of her son’s life on CCTV footage, Ms Morris said the verdict of manslaughter and the acquittal of four other defendants, had added insult to injury.

She said: “This verdict of manslaughter, whilst the others are all found not guilty, just goes to prove to me that the life of Dea-John Reid, my son, a young black man, didn’t matter.

“This only highlights the ongoing question: ‘Do black lives really matter?’

“As far as I am concerned many will say that this young man has been held accountable for killing my son, however I do wonder if the roles were reversed, what the verdict may well have been?

“I do believe that a system that I decided to trust has completely let me, my family, my community, including the friends of Dea-John, down.

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