Friends of 22-year-old Kevin Wilson, sentenced for stamping on his pregnant ex-girlfriend’s stomach to kill his unborn baby, have told of their “shock” at hearing the news.
Wilson used an accomplice, Taffari Grant, 17, and who has learning difficulties, to ambush 22-year-old Malorie Bantala on June 15, hours after she had been planning her baby shower.
Wilson, a former teaching assistant at Octavia House School, tried to disguise himself with a motorcycle helmet when he and the boy of seventeen ambushed Miss Bantala.
They kicked and stamped on her stomach in a sustained two-minute attack that left Ms Bantala needing an emergency caesarian section to give birth to her still-born baby.
Now, an old classmate of Kevin’s who remembers him from their teenage years at Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe, told the News how Wilson’s old friends were “shocked” to hear what happened.
“Everyone I know who knew him is so shocked. I remember he was a good boy to be fair, always the joker of the class.
“He was the calm one, so this is so out of the ordinary. It just didn’t sound like the Kevin I knew.”
During the trial at the Old Bailey, Wilson told the court he was not ready to be a father. He was found guilty by a jury in December, but professed his innocence throughout.
He was handed a life sentence on February 11 with a minimum term of 16 years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and child destruction.
Grant, who has the mental age of an eight-year-old, was jailed for ten years with another on licence. Restrictions on naming the boy of 17 were lifted at sentencing by Judge Mark Lucraft QC.
The former school friend, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she and Kevin chatted together at lunch times, and sometimes saw each other on the Longfield Estate where Kevin lived in Stansfield House.
“I’m not sure what grades he got but he never really got himself into any kind of trouble, so I would assume he was doing ok,” she said.
“He would usually be having a kick-about with the boys, but I would see him at lunch times.
“The teachers thought he was a bit cheeky but they all seemed to like him,” adding that he was “clever”.
Wilson and Miss Bantala met in the summer of 2011, when they were both 17.
Malorie fell pregnant after the pair had unprotected sex in a hotel last year. Malorie told the court Wilson spent months “constantly trying to convince me to get rid of the baby.”
Meanwhile the executive head of Octavia House School, James Waite, said: “He had only been with us for four and a half months at the point of his arrest.
“We were all horrified by the crimes he committed and we never noticed anything like this in his work as a teaching assistant.”