Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 January 2013

Nigeria: Killer of Nigerian Kid Returns to Jail for Handling Stolen Goods

One of Damilola Taylor's killers is back in prison for a third time today after he was arrested again. Ricky Preddie, 25, has been taken into custody after police found a stolen motorbike at his bail hostel in Richmond, Surrey.

Preddie was first jailed for eight years in 2006 after he and his brother Danny stabbed 10-year-old Damilola in the neck with a broken bottle as he walked home from the library in Peckham, south-east London.

The schoolboy bled to death in 2000, in a case that shocked Britain, and now his killer has been linked with an £800 red Suzuki motorbike taken in a burglary, five months after he was last released.

Damilola's father Richard, 64, today expressed his fury at the depressing 'prison merry-go-round' linked to his son's death.

'He should now stay in prison. If he had been jailed for life for killing my son in the first place, we wouldn't have this prison merry-go-round,' he told the Sun.

Mr Taylor has said he and his brother should be hanged, saying the last time Ricky was released in January 2012: 'He has not served enough time behind bars for what he did.

'He has not had the opportunity to reflect on what he has done and it is obvious he will return to criminality.' The killer appeared at a court in Wimbledon in December dressed in a smart grey Barbour jacket, brown combat trousers and sporting a large bandage over his left ear.

Preddie pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing of being in possession of a stolen red Suzuki motorbike worth £800 between October 31 and December 10 last year. Defence counsel Rosemary Ollenson confirmed there was no appeal for bail as Mr Preddie was out on licence at the time of the alleged offence.

Chair magistrate Mrs Amanda Otway said: 'Your trial date is February 6. You are going to be remanded in custody until that date for the same reasons as last time.'

It appears that Preddie cannot stay away from trouble as he continues to lurch between bail hostels and prison.

He was first freed in September 2010 after four years in jail - only half his sentence for Damilola's manslaughter - and was told he must stay away from his old area, and other places in south London he used to visit with his gang. But only six months later he was recalled after returning to the Peckham estates he terrorised as a boy.

On January 25 last year, he was freed for a second time but got in trouble again only 16 days after being released. Preddie was spotted entering a South London estate to meet up with fellow gang members, again breaching the terms of his release.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: 'The re-release of serious offenders is directed by the independent Parole Board once they are satisfied they can be safely managed in the community. They will be subject to strict controls and restrictions on their movements - if they fail to comply they can be returned to prison.

'It is important most offenders spend time being managed in the community before their sentence ends so they can adjust to life outside prison whilst still subject to control and supervision.'

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