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


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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest Crime news

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Police want to talk to this man about a sex assault on a 16-year-old girl on a Hounslow bus

A 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a man while travelling on the 423 bus route along Bath Road, Hounslow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
A West Ham fan was stabbed on Sunday

The West Ham fan stabbed before Sunday’s match against Tottenham has been released from hospital, the club has confirmed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The robbers threaten a female shop worker with a sword and machete in Mitcham

This shocking CCTV footage shows teenage robbers wielding a machete and sword threatening a female shop worker in Mitcham, south London.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Knife crime is on the rise in the capital (Picture: PA Images)

The 17-year-old boy murdered in a north London street last night is the fourteenth teenager to be stabbed to death in London in 2015, amid a ‘disturbing’ increase in knife crime in the capital.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Marta Ligman, 23, may have been alive when she was stuffed into the suitcase and thrown into the canal (Picture: Facebook)

A forklift truck driver has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Marta Ligman, who may have been alive when she was stuffed into a suitcase and thrown into the Grand Union Canal.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
The boy was stabbed to death near Caledonian Road Tube station in Islington (Pic: Google Street View)

A teenage boy was stabbed to death in Yoke Close, off North Road, Holloway, last night.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

Read more
You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Read more

Latest Tech News