Murdered teenager 'used as political pawn' by Kids Company bosses

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The mother of a murdered teenager whose death was linked to the closure of Kids Company has accused its bosses of using him as a 'political pawn'.

Amanda Elie's son, Jerrell, was attacked in the street in Camberwell three days after the children's charity closed.

Yesterday Kids Company's Chair of Trustees Alan Yentob told MPs that his death could have been avoided if the charity was still open.

But Amanda Elie told ITV News that was totally untrue.

At first I thought how dare you? Do you even know who I am? Did you know who Jerrell was?

Amanda Elie

Before it was forced to close amid accusations of financial mismanagement Kids Company said there would be violence on the streets without it.

Jerrell was found with a fatal head injury. A man has been charged with his murder. But what angered his family most was that Alan Yentob had shown no interest in his death until yesterday.

No one's talked to us about this, why are we hearing it on TV? That's what we thought. Has anyone called you? No. Has anyone emailed? No. It's all a show.

Miranda Elie, aunt

Jerrell was an A-Level student, looking forward to going to college.

My son was not involved in any drug-related issues or any gang-related issues. And just because he's a black cghild who lives in a low income area it doen't mean that's what all our children are doing because Kids Company has closed.

Amanda Elie

Jerrell's funeral only took place on Wednesday which his mother says made everything more painful.

In a statement to ITV News Alan Yentob said:

This terrible tragedy had already been reported in the national media. In my evidence to Parliament. I was asked about the assertion that there would be serious consequences to the closure of Kids Company. In that context I highlighted that in my view there had already been serious consequences but I took care not to describe the circumstances or to name the individual, although his name was already in the public domain. I have never intended to cause any distress, and my work with Kids Company has always been about attempting to help those with severe needs. In today's press, I see that the young man's mother has said that if Kids Company had been there then this tragedy might have been avoided.

Alan Yentob