Danny O’Shea trial: Sports agent accused of murder helped Tony Blair launch anti-knife crime campaign, court hears

15:34 19 March 2013

Ten men deny the murder of Danny O

Ten men deny the murder of Danny O'Shea, 18

Archant

A sports agent accused of being part of a gang who stabbed and beat a teenager to death once helped former Prime Minister Tony Blair launch an anti-knife crime campaign, a court heard today.

Christopher Nathaniel, 40, said he travelled to Manchester to help launch the campaign.

He was giving evidence at the Old Bailey, where he and nine other men are on trial accused of killing 18-year-old Danny O’Shea in Canning Town in a revenge attack over a stolen BlackBerry phone.

The court was told that after the launch of the campaign Mr Blair asked to meet Nathaniel again to find out about his work with gangs.

Nathaniel said the government got involved with the campaign in London and “then Manchester with Tony Blair to launch it there”.

He added that the former Prime Minister had shown an interest in what he was doing in the community, adding: “He said he would like to meet us and see what we were doing to help young people.”

Nathaniel also told the court that his firm, NVA, tried to give an impression of a big firm with an impressive website and by offering telephone callers different department extensions.

In reality, he said, it was run from two rooms in Canary Wharf, and the firm’s four staff were all on freelance contractor deals. There were also 20 or so talent scouts on the books.

He said: “It gives the impression you are a big outfit, which is what you want when you are competing with the big boys.”

Nathaniel, his business partner Paul Boadi, 34, and eight other men are accused of killing Mr O’Shea in Canning Town on December 2, 2011.

The teenager died after being beaten with baseball bats and stabbed in the throat yards from his mother’s home, the trial has heard.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, previously said the defendants travelled to the area to “exact revenge” after Boadi’s mobile phone was stolen a week earlier.

Eight of the men hired a minibus to travel to Canning Town on the evening of the killing, while Boadi and Nathaniel travelled in taxis, the court heard.

They spent more than two hours searching the area before they came across a group of young men, including Mr O’Shea, who they believed had robbed Boadi and gave chase, Mr Heywood said.

Some of the men caught Mr O’Shea and began beating him before one of the defendants stabbed him in the neck, the court heard.

The defendants fled as the teenager attempted to return home but he died at the scene, Mr Heywood said.

A Twitter message was allegedly published shortly after Mr O’Shea’s death, which read: “The element of surprise, such a beautiful thing.”

All of the accused deny murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

The defendants are Nathaniel and Boadi, both of Docklands; David Hylton, 47, from Holborn; Andrew Johnson, 35, Paul Johnson, 33, and O’Neil Wareham, 30, all from Harrow; Ferron Perue, 24, from Birmingham; Kevin Richards, 32, from Harlesden; Nugent Rowe, 29, from Pinner; and Scott Marius, 44, from Clinton Villas, west London.

The trial continues.

Latest Crime news

Friday, May 27, 2016
A man in his sixties stabbed in the face 'with a pair of scissors' this morning (Picture: Getty)

Scotland Yard say they have arrested someone after a man was viciously stabbed in the face with a pair of scissors in west London.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Michael Purcell has been jailed for life

A Cricklewood steelworker who murdered his lesbian flatmate showed his hatred of her sexuality by mutilating her genitals it has been revealed today.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Police said men fired shots at a car in Armitage Road in Greenwich (Picture: Street View)

A young man was rushed to hospital last night after he was shot at ‘while in his car’ on a Greenwich street, Scotland Yard said.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Armed police will patrol Brent

Armed police will be patrolling the streets of Brent following an increase in shootings in the borough.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
The mystery girl was found wandering in  the evening in Daleham Gardens

Police are trying to trace an 11-year-old girl who was discovered wandering in the street in her pyjamas saying she had run away from home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Operation Viper will see more armed police on London's streets  (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Armed police patrols will target gun crime hotspots across the capital after a rise in the number of shootings, as Scotland Yard says there are more guns on the streets.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport