Sydenham mother who drove her son and friends to kill 17-year-old found guilty

Charles Harrison (22 December, 2021)

The crime, supposedly spurred by the mother's fury at being "bothered" by the teenager, has been linked to gang activity


A mother and her son have been found guilty of killing a 17-year-old boy with a machete.

Nichola Leighton, 36, her son Tyreese Ulysses, 19, together with three boys, aged 15, 16 and 17, have been on trial for the murder of Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, in Sydenham.

Now the jury has come back with a guilty verdict for Leighton and Ulysses.

Leighton became “furious” after Ernest-Morrison and his friends kept knocking on her door looking for Ulysses.

When Ulysses found out they were “bothering” his mother, he rallied his friends, armed with knives.

Levi was chased through Sydenham on April 10, before finally being fatally stabbed to death.

Convicted for manslaughter: Tyreese Ulysses

The prosecutor, Bill Emlyn Jones QC, said the attack took just 30 seconds.

After the attack, the young men fled to a red Suzuki driven by Leighton, who sped them away.

The Old Bailey also heard that there were gang associations on both sides, with the attackers having links to the LDG gang in Sydenham, and the targets belonging to Block 6 from Catford.

Mr Emlyn Jones said: “That evening, when Levi and the others came knocking on her door, Nichola Leighton was furious.

“She rang the police about it and told the police that if the boys came back, she was going to batter them.

“But before she had phoned the police, she contacted her son Tyreese Ulysses.

“The prosecution say that having heard from his mum that Levi and his friends had come round to his mum’s house and were bothering her, he then rallied the troops.”

CCTV caught most of the attack, on which Leighton could be heard encouraging the chasers to catch the boys.

Leighton admitted driving the boys to the scene but denied being aware they were armed, while her son claimed they only wanted to scare off the gang.

Victim Levi Ernest-Morrison, left.

Leighton, of Sydenham, was found guilty of murder and having an offensive weapon.

Ulysses, who admitted having a weapon, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter by a majority of ten to two after a jury deliberated for more than 40 hours.

Two youths, aged 16 and 17, who had also admitted having weapons, were unanimously convicted of murder.

The defendants were remanded into custody to be sentenced on 28 January next year.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on a charge of murder relating to another youth, aged 15.




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