Murder of Richard Everitt

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Richard Everitt

On 13 August 1994, 15-year-old Richard Everitt was stabbed to death in London in a racially motivated attack. Everitt's neighbourhood, Somers Town, had been the site of ethnic tensions. He was not involved in gangs, but was murdered by a gang of British Bangladeshis who were seeking revenge on another White British boy.

The murderer was not apprehended, as members of the gang fled to Bangladesh. Badrul Miah and Showat Akbar were tried in 1995 as the ringleaders of the gang. Miah was given a life sentence, with minimum terms of 12 years. Akbar was sentenced to three years in custody for violent disorder.

Background[edit]

Somers Town, in the London Borough of Camden, was experiencing urban decay in the early 1990s. Many of its white families had been moved onto newer estates, and the ones who remained lived in poverty and unemployment, and felt in conflict with Bengalis. Bengalis were living in the neighbourhood's worst housing, with problems of overcrowding due to their larger-than-average families.[1]

White youths and Bengali youths respectively chose to attend different schools and youth clubs, and interracial relationships were shunned.[2] Hate crimes occurred in the area, with statistics showing that they were predominantly against Bengalis: white locals claimed that this was from exaggerated reports by Bengalis in order to achieve better housing, as well as the police ignoring racial motivations in crimes against white people.[3] Bengalis claimed that their complaints were going unheard.[2]

Richard Everitt attended South Camden Community School, where the ethnic tensions continued, although he was not involved in them. His mother had previously complained when he was allegedly threatened with a knife by an Asian pupil.[2]

Murder[edit]

On the night of 13 August 1994, Everitt returned from playing football to ask for permission to go to Burger King with his friends. They encountered a gang of fifteen Bengali youths aged 18–19 and began to run, but Everitt was caught and stabbed with a seven-inch kitchen knife in his shoulder blades, piercing his heart. His friends notified his parents, who came to him as he was loaded into the ambulance. Everitt died at the hospital.[4]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Eleven men were arrested and bailed shortly after Everitt was stabbed.[5]

The trial began on 5 October 1995 at the Old Bailey. On 1 November, Badrul Miah was found guilty of conspiring to murder Everitt and was given a life sentence with a minimum of 12 years in prison; Showat Akbar was found guilty of violent disorder and sentenced to three years' youth detention. Their gang had been seeking revenge on a white teenager suspected of stealing their jewellery, and Miah boasted that he had "stabbed up a white boy". Miah and Akbar were deemed by the judge to have been the ringleaders of the attack, but she stated that the identity of the killer was unknown as some of the gang members had fled to Bangladesh.[6]

In 2006, Miah was given four days' unsupervised release to attend his sister's wedding.[7]

Aftermath[edit]

Everitt's murder was received with shock in Somers Town. A Bengali teenager told The Independent "The boy seems to have had nothing to do with trouble. We are so shocked that Bengali boys could do this. It is the innocent increasingly who are suffering".[2] The Deputy Headmaster of Everitt's school told the press that cohesion was generally good at the school.[2] Jalal Uddin, a Bengali activist, spoke of his fears that revenge attacks could continue perpetually.[3]

A Halal butcher's was firebombed, and white gangs attacked Bengalis.[8] Bengalis told family members to stay indoors, and the police increased their presence in order to combat the gangs.[2] A white gang member said that he would not accept support from the British National Party because "the BNP comes down here, gets everyone whipped up and then when the trouble starts we get it and they run away".[2]

After the convictions, Everitt's family were abused by Bengali neighbours, and moved to Essex before settling in Haworth, West Yorkshire. His mother successfully campaigned for stronger sentences for knife crime.[4]

The murder was mentioned by India Today as attributable to a decline in values among British Asian youth, who were previously considered a model minority but were becoming increasingly involved with drugs and gangs.[9]

Legacy[edit]

In response to Everitt's murder, the KXL Camden United project was founded using football to bring young people together. The football team is for players aged 15 to 19.[10]

Socialist Workers Party activist Alan Walter launched Camden Action Now alongside Everitt's parents, offering youth activities and aiming to unite the community.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malik, Kenan (21 August 1994). "Somers Town: where lessons go unlearnt". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Braid, Mary (16 August 1994). "Fear and loathing after 'racial' murder: Gangs of teenagers have vowed to avenge the death of a white schoolboy stabbed by a group of Asians in Somers Town, north London, on Saturday. Mary Braid reports on the mounting tensions". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Knifing inflames London Area". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. 24 August 1994. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b McCaffrey, Julie (13 October 2008). "Exclusive: I can't forgive my son's knife crime killer". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  5. ^ MacKinnon, Ian (23 October 2011) [14 August 1994]. "Race motive suspected in murder of white boy: Friends find teenager stabbed in street". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  6. ^ McKie, John (1 November 1995). "Gang leader gets life for killing boy". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Mike; Kay, John. "Race killer freed for party". The Sun. Archived from the original on 8 April 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  8. ^ Malik, Kenan (21 October 2015). "Somers Town: where lessons go unlearnt". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  9. ^ Merchant, Khozem (15 October 1994). "Immigrant gangland". India Today. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  10. ^ "BBC SPORT - Sport Relief - Community team scores a winner". news.bbc.co.uk.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Austin (16 March 2009). "Alan Walter" – via The Guardian.

External links[edit]