Damilola Taylor's father was Woolwich knifeman's mentor when he was being bullied as a child

  • Richard Taylor has known Michael Adebowale since he was 10 years old
  • Taylor was trying to help Adebowale when he was being bullied at school

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Richard Taylor, the father of murdered boy Damilola Taylor

Support: Richard Taylor tried to help murder suspect Michael Adebowale, when he was a child

The father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor acted as a mentor to Woolwich suspect Michael Adebowale, who was known to his friends as Toby.

Asked about Wednesday’s events, Richard Taylor said: ‘I was terribly shocked. It’s a different Toby, or Michael, that I saw that day. I don’t believe it was anything Islamic.’

Mr Taylor, whose son was just ten when he was killed in Peckham, South London in 2000, said he had known Adebowale, 22, since he was ten.

He said that he tried to help him after he was bullied at school and then became involved with drugs and gangs.

But he said that when he spoke to Adebowale two months ago, he had told him that he had changed his ways as he had become a Muslim.

But he said that when he spoke to Adebowale two months ago, he had told him that he had changed his ways as he had become a Muslim.

‘Having seen how my own son was stabbed to death, made me feel that... whatever happens, they [the killers] will still be alive, they will still be on the street or maybe they will take them away from the public or change their faces. They don’t deserve to live.’

Michael Adebowale's mother also apparently desperately battled to help him as his behaviour became more erratic.

Friends say Juliet Obasuyi was worried he was turning against the family and wanted him to have 'spiritual guidance' before he radicalised himself.

 

The 43-year-old was often left in tears after speaking to her son and would approach neighbours and friends for help.

It has also been claimed that Adebowale became radicalised after trying to escape gangland ‘trouble’.

Scroll down for video

Michael Adebowale, of Greenwich, south-east London, at the scene where Lee Rigby was stabbed to death

Aftermath: Michael Adebowale, of Greenwich, south-east London, at the scene where Lee Rigby was stabbed to death

Drummer Lee Rigby who died in Woolwich on Wednesday

Victim: Drummer Lee Rigby who died in Woolwich on Wednesday

He was apparently told to ‘disappear’ after he was caught up with a local gang known as the Woolwich Boys, and underwent a dramatic change of personality.

He gave up alcohol and began distributing radical leaflets near his mother’s home in Greenwich, south-east London.

Once a fun-loving schoolboy who was described as ‘always smiling’ and chatted to neighbours about Jamie Oliver recipes, he began dressing in traditional Islamic dress and preaching a radical message of hate.

Neighbours said his Nigerian-born mother was a probation officer and a ‘hard-working’ Christian woman who raised Adebowale alone after separating from his father.

Police raided her flat and a property linked to Adebowale’s father, Adeniyi Adebowale, in Holloway, North London.

Plain-clothes officers were seen carrying six plastic bags full of video cassettes and audio tapes from the Holloway flat.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Who bullied him?

Click to rate     Rating   72

So many lives ruined by needless hate. Why is it this filth is allowed while tweets on social media results in arrest?

Click to rate     Rating   152

What a nice man Mr Taylor is. He lost his own son to violent hate filled bullies but yet tries to help those very same people turn their lives around.

Click to rate     Rating   80

These radical extremists are being comforted by well meaning people and slipping through the net, mosques need to be closely monitored before another tragedy occurs.

Click to rate     Rating   112

The fundamental problem here is that we have a young disaffected man who sought some identity in a gang, like so many others, and then, through whatever trouble he found himself in, "disappeared" into another gang. The answer is simple. Give young men work not benefits. The devil DOES find work for idle hands. Of course, nothing will be done except a lot of political posturing, followed by helpless handwringing.

Click to rate     Rating   114

This country needs better Law & Order. One good example is an old ex-British Colonial fisheries harbour, now known as the Republic of Singapore. No nonsense, No tolerance, No crime!

Click to rate     Rating   103

"'spiritual guidance' before he radicalised himself." - that was the problem, He was receiving 'spiritual guidance' . In fact "Once a fun-loving schoolboy who was described as ¿always smiling¿ and chatted to neighbours about Jamie Oliver recipes, he began dressing in traditional Islamic dress and preaching a radical message of hate". These preachers need to be shut down and sent home.

Click to rate     Rating   96

Fanatics and fantasists

Click to rate     Rating   72

And, doesn't suggest he led him to carry out the barbaric act!! Leave Mr Taylor alone he's suffered enough too!!

Click to rate     Rating   40

Drummer Rigby's band, should play marching though the streets of woolwich, let the people see, brave men in action, doing what they do best, making us proud of our young men.

Click to rate     Rating   76
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