Case: Highbury Stabbing: Ryan Gray
Ryan Gray
Taylor Fernandes-Nelson
Status: Solved
Categories: Uncategorised
Case synopsis:

Ryan Gray, 24, died four days after being stabbed in the street in Highbury, north London.

He was on his way to a medical appointment when he was chased and attacked near the junction of Drayton Park and Holloway Road.

Mr Gray, a musician and father-of-one from Islington, collapsed in Horsell Road and police and paramedics were called to the scene at around 2.30pm on 4 June 2014.

He was taken to hospital in a critical condition with at least seven stab wounds to the chest and back, including an injury to the heart. Mr Gray was pronounced dead at 7am on 8 June.

Detectives charged 17 year-old Taylor Fernandes-Nelson [26/11/96] of Vivian Comma Close, Finsbury Park, with attempted murder on 7 June 2014. He was charged with murder the following day. On 11 June Delton Campbell-Brown, 19 (6/6/95) from Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, and Stephen Roberts, 21 (24/8/92) from Highbury New Park, Highbury, were charged with murder.

They went on trial at the Old Bailey on 9 February 2015. The court heard all three suspects were caught on CCTV chasing and attacked Ryan Gray in Holloway Road.

CCTV cameras did not capture the initial encounter between the four men but Mr Gray was seen sprinting from Drayton Park across the Holloway Road, chased by Campbell-Brown. He was tripped and then kicked on the ground.

Ryan then pursued Campbell-Brown to a silver Ford Fiesta and sprayed a Persil bottle containing ammonia into the car before running off. He was then pursued by all three into Drayton Park and stabbed near the junction with Horsell Road.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC told jurors: 'These three defendants have all been identified, with little difficulty, and all were directly involved in this violent assault, each played a part as they chased Ryan Gray and attacked him.

'Ryan Gray was alone that afternoon in the Holloway Road area of North London, when he was set upon initially by Delton Campbell-Brown and then by Taylor Fernandes-Nelson and Stephen Roberts, all acting together as one.

'Ryan Gray was attacked in a variety of ways, each of these three acting together with differing weapons and feet.

'A knife was used by Fernandes-Nelson to stab him quickly and repeatedly to the front of his chest and his back.

'A crutch, a walking crutch, was aimed at him by Roberts, and lastly feet were used to kick him.'

Members of the public intervened to stop the attack, including Vivian Taylor who hit out at Fernandes-Nelson with her red leather shopping bag, forcing him to run off.

At trial Campbell-Brown admitted kicking Ryan Gray but denied knowing Fernandes-Nelson had a knife or used a knife. Roberts also denied involvement in the fatal attack.

On 4 March 2015 the jury convicted Fernandes-Nelson of murder and acquitted both Roberts and Campbell-Brown of all charges.

Fernandes-Nelson was sentenced to detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure with a minimum of 15 years on 10 March 2015.

Ryan Gray

Killer Taylor Fernandes-Nelson and victim Ryan Gray (wearing hat)

Judge Anthony Bate said: 'The fateful sequence of events unfolded quickly. Ryan Gray arrived he was carrying two weapons, a plastic Persil bottle containing caustic ammonia solution and a metal cosh.

'You had brought to the scene a small folding knife concealed in a trouser pocket.'

The judge described how Fernandes chased Mr Gray after being sprayed with ammonia.

'Angry at what he had done you pursued him,' Judge Bate said. 'The jury rejected your claim that it was a sudden loss of control.'

Mr Gray's mother Alison said in a statement: "I feel like I don’t have justice when I don’t know why it happened. Taylor is a coward.

'Why he doesn’t come clean about why it happened, I don’t know. The people who take a life like this need to realise how many other lives they destroy.'

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