Two guilty of killing talented athlete, 20, on his way to football match over ‘look’ across rail track

Tashan Daniel, 20, who was stabbed at Hillingdon station
16:10pm, Thu 06 Aug 2020
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Two men have been found guilty of killing of a talented athlete, who was stabbed on his way to a football match at the Emirates stadium.

Tashan Daniel, 20, had kissed his father goodbye before setting off to see Arsenal take on Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Within an hour, his father witnessed efforts to save his son, after he was stabbed in the chest at Hillingdon Station, west London.

At the time of the killing, the knifeman, Alex Lanning, had been on licence for a previous stabbing in Brighton.

Chandima Daniel, father of Tashan, with a photograph of his son (PA Archive)

The 22-year-old had admitted Mr Daniel’s manslaughter but denied intending to seriously harm him, claiming it was an accident.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Lanning, from Hillingdon, was convicted of murder.

His friend Jonathan Camille, 19, from Fulham, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

Mr Daniel’s family reacted with tearful joy as the guilty verdicts were delivered.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC had told jurors it was a “senseless killing” which appeared to have been started by a look across the train tracks.

On the morning of September 24 last year, Mr Daniel was “excited” at the prospect of seeing Arsenal play at the Emirates for the first time, Mr Rees said.

At about 3.30pm, he kissed his father goodbye and walked to Hillingdon station with his friend, Treyone Campbell, who was going to the football with him.

“Within an hour of that kiss, his father was at the station watching medical professionals trying their best to keep his son alive,” Mr Rees said.

Mr Rees told jurors that Mr Daniel did not know his attackers, who had been on the opposite platform going the other way.

Lanning had been “looking for trouble from almost the moment he walked onto the westbound platform”, the prosecutor said.

The catalyst appeared to be that Lanning thought Mr Daniels was “looking at him across the rail tracks”, the court heard.

But Mr Rees suggested it was Lanning who was “gesturing in a fashion that suggests a challenge” as Mr Daniel and his friend were merely looking in his direction.

The defendants changed platforms to confront the pair, the court heard.

Chandima Daniel watched as medical professionals tried their best to keep his son alive (PA Archive)

Mr Rees said: “When the violence erupted, Camille quickly became involved in a fight with Treyone Campbell, and he was still fighting him when Alex Lanning carried out the fatal stabbing.”

The court heard Lanning had a previous conviction for wounding a man with a knife in Brighton dating back to July 2016 as well as having 250 wraps of heroin.

Lanning had been released half way through a four-year sentence in 2018 and was on licence for those offences at the time he killed Mr Daniel.

Following his arrest, Camille told police that he had crossed platforms after Lanning had told him two boys had been abusive to him and he wanted to have a chat with them.

He went on to claim that he started to speak to the pair but was “pushed” by Mr Campbell, causing him to act in self-defence.

But Mr Rees argued that both defendants were “in it together to inflict damage on the opposition”.

Jurors heard Mr Daniel was a talented athlete who trained up to four times a week at Hillingdon Athletic Club.

He worked as a photographer and was described as a popular young man who made friends easily and was devoted to his family.

The jury deliberated for more than six hours to reach verdicts.

Judge Mark Dennis remanded the defendants into custody to be sentenced on August 20.

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