In the early 1990s Somers Town in North London was at the centre of severe racial tension. The main secondary school in the area was a war zone with gangs of boys united by their race. Bangladeshi, white and black boys fought for control, dominance and superiority. A student in this school 15-year-old Richard Everitt would go about his business avoiding the fighting between the other boys. Richard was known in the community as a harmless, naive boy who was innocent of any aggressive racial behavior. Mandy and Norman Everitt, Richards’s parents, met with the head teacher of the school to discuss their growing concern for Richards’s safety as he was being bullied by some Bangladeshi boys who had, on two occasions, physically hurt him. Once by pushing Richard to the floor, defenseless against a gang surrounding him Richard was punched in the face. On the other occasion, after some innocent classroom banter another boy pulled a knife on Richard. The school tried to reassure Mandy and Norman, and promised to monitor the situation as much as their resources would allow.
Despite the concerns expressed by his parents to the school Richard was brutally murdered on the way to get some chips on an early summer evening of August 13th 1994.
A group of ten Bangladeshi boys (known as the Drummond Street Posse) had been ‘wronged’ by a white boy and wanted revenge against all white boys and anyone would ‘do’. Tragically, they had spotted Richard with a couple of younger friends. Even though Richard was NOT the boy who had ‘wronged’ the gang it did not matter, they isolated him, surrounded him and then brutally stabbed Richard in the back. One of the younger boys had been head butted and ran to get Richards parents. The seven-inch knife wound penetrated both his heart and lungs, and cradled in his father arms Richard died.
That night, the group were hanging around Euston station and were picked up by the police for a separate incident. Although they were bailed that same night a policeman had noticed some blood on the clothes of 19-year-old Badrul Miah and believed he was involved in Richards’s murder. His clothes were removed for forensic examination and the blood was proven to be Richard’s.
It took nine months until 11 arrests were made, including Badrul Miah. The number then decreased to six and at a further committal hearing saw it drop to three. Once at the Old Bailey it dropped again to two. The forensic evidence in connection with Badrul Miah was overwhelming and he received a life sentence (a tariff of twelve years). Miah’s co-defendant Showkat Akbar 19 was found guilty of violent disorder and sentenced to three years. Akbar served 18 months and was released.
After the trial Mandy and Norman tried to move on but were the victims of threats and racial abuse. They had to leave the home where they raised their children and move out of London to Essex.
The following year the Everitt’s received yet another blow with the discovery that the killers were appealing their sentences and many of those backing the campaign were educated high status professionals fighting for the release of murderers.
Then in 2004, Mandy and Norman were informed that Badrul Miah would be moving to a less secure prison where he would be allowed to go out on ‘day trips’ and spend time playing on games consoles. Furthermore, they were told he would be released within the next couple of years.
Mandy and Norman worked tirelessly for MAMAA for four years, trying to raise money and awareness for our cause. They dedicated much of their time listening and talking to other parents going through a similar experience. In 1999 they also took part in a sponsored walk from Dunblane, Scotland to Trafalgar Square, London. They have always given invaluable help, input and support to MAMAA and are held in very high regard.
After years of trying to come to terms with Richards’s premature death Mandy and Norman never settled in Essex feeling that it was still too close to London they have now moved to Yorkshire where they are trying to find some peace in their lives.