Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Newham mayor 'sorry' after council services 'failed' teenager Corey Junior Davis shot by local gang

The police had identified CJ as being vulnerable to gang exploitation. Photo: Family handout

The family of a teenage boy who was shot dead by a gang despite him telling the authorities about being "exploited" have received an apology from the local mayor.

The mayor of Newham, where Corey Junior Davis was killed, has said she is "profoundly sorry" the 14-year-old lost his life to gang violence.

A serious case review found that Corey, or CJ as he was known, told social care professionals that he wasn’t safe but saw nothing happen.

His mother Keisha McLeod told ITV News' Geraint Vincent: "Instead of this child being seen for his vulnerabilities and the fact that he's been exploited and is a victim, he's been criminalised. A child.

"Everybody failed him. He's not here. Everybody failed him. I even feel like I failed him and that's not a good thing for a mother to say".

The police had identified CJ as being vulnerable to gang exploitation six months earlier.

He suffered from ADHD, so his local authority had moved him from mainstream education to a Pupil Referral Unit, because of the "low-level disruption" that his condition caused in class.

A schools officer at the PRU noted that he was "associating with trouble-makers". But the case review found that the unit didn’t have the resources needed to deal with the "gang-related risk".

In a statement mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: "I am heartbroken and deeply troubled that during that period as a Council we didn’t do the best we could for her and Corey".

Children’s Social Care workers became involved with CJ when his mum reported him missing after he had not been home for a week.

In one meeting with social workers, CJ told them that he was in fear for his life. But the serious case review found that CJ’s voice was "rarely truly heard and even more rarely adequately responded to".

He was not, according to the report, "seen through the lens of exploitation, but as an offender".

In her statement Ms Fiaz added: "It is clear that that as a Council we did not understand the risks to Corey’s life.

"The fact that he was viewed as an offender, rather than a child who was vulnerable points to a flaw in our methods and a wider culture that views these young people as criminals."