Dea-John Reid was 'hunted by a Lynch mob reminiscent of Mississippi Burning scene', court hears


A mother has described the final moments of her son's life as the 15-year-old youth who stabbed him to death was sentenced for manslaughter. 

Joan Morris said her 14-year-old son Dea-John Reid was "hunted by a Lynch mob reminiscent of a scene from Mississippi Burning."

In a statement read on her behalf by community activist Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, Joan Morris slammed the criminal justice system that delivered a verdict of manslaughter. 

She made it clear that in her view there are racial elements to the case and the acquittal of the youth on the charge of murder was wrong. 

"The life of Dea-John Reid, my son, a young black man, did not matter," she said, adding that the defendant's family would be able to visit him in prison.

"My only visit to Dea-John is a grave in a cemetery. My only reunion with Dea-John will be to join him in his grave." 

Dea-John Reid

The court heard how the youth had been driven around by a family member on 31 May, 2021 looking for Dea-John and his friends, following an altercation earlier in the day. He had armed himself with a kitchen knife. 

When they located the group the defendant ran at Dea-John. After a short chase he stabbed him with an overhand motion. 

Dea-John was unarmed and backing away when he was stabbed. 

The youth, who had disguised himself with a balaclava, hood and gloves prior to the attack, then ran from the scene. 

A judge at Birmingham Crown Court today said the attack involved “the worst harm possible - the loss of a human life".

"He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin and a friend. His mother’s victim impact statement shows just how loved he was."

"She is not even able to have a conversation with him face to face. That is because of what you did."

The judge sentenced the youth to six-and-a-half years detention.

He will serve half of that before he is eligible for release, and the year that he has served on remand will be taken off the sentence.