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My Murder tackles 'honey trap' case

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 17:01 UK time, Friday, 23 March 2012

Danny (Malachi Kirby), Samantha (Simona Zivkovska) and Shakilus (John Boyega)

Danny (Malachi Kirby), Samantha (Simona Zivkovska) and Shakilus (John Boyega)

3rd July 2008.

That was the day Shakilus Townsend was lured into an elaborate "honey trap" by the girl he was crazy about. It was a trap that would cost him his life. The meeting led to him being beaten with a baseball bat and repeatedly stabbed in south London. He died the following day.

His crime? Simply falling for the wrong girl. Samantha Joseph had also been seeing Danny McLean - a member of the local Shine My Nine (SMN) gang, who was furious when he discovered the deceit.

My Murder (Monday, 9pm) tells that tragic true story of love and betrayal, and I met up with the cast on set to see how they were tackling it.

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In total, seven people were found guilty of his murder in 2009. Samantha is currently serving a minimum of 10 years in prison, while Danny was locked up for at least 15 years.

Joint Enterprise

They were all convicted under a law that’s often used in gang-related crimes, called joint enterprise. It allows groups of people to be found guilty even if only one of them committed the crime. There’s been a lot of debate around the use of joint enterprise and whether it’s being applied properly in all cases.

Earlier this year, MPs called for a simpler law for gang-related murders and said new guidance should be given to prosecutors. They argued joint enterprise was vital in convicting people over gang violence, but had become too complex.

My Murder is part of our Criminal Britain Season and will be broadcast on Monday 26th March at 9pm.

Watch a preview below:

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Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.


  • Comment number 1.

    Shakilus was 16 and is played by a 19 year old. Danny was 18 and is played by a 22 year old. Samantha was 15 and is played by a 17.5 year old. No matter how well written or acted, this will inevitably give the impression that all those involved were more mature and responsible than the real people they portray.

  • Comment number 2.

    If anyone is searching for the music used in the Criminal Britain Season trail, it is 'Smother' by Wild Beasts.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm very disappointed to read 'rosemarieleclerc's' comment. Even a child of 15 and 18 knows that murder is not an acceptable solution to any problem. My son is 17 and my daughter is 18.. they are very well aware and 'mature' enough to know that they don't have the right to take a life. Those children were bad through and through and deserve to rot in prison. The drama was excellent, any my thoughts and empathy go to Shaki and his family. May he rest in peace.

  • Comment number 4.

    I would like to send my deepest condolences out to Shaki's mother and his brother and sisters he left behind. But honestly I am struggling to see what the bbc have achieved by dramatising and almost glamourizing such a serious and sad topic. Much like Top Boy on channel 4 I was left thinking bring back the Cosby Show. There are a lot of positive black people out there doing positive things and all you guys seem to focus on is us being bin men (Gus) or being in gangs. I am not saying that Shaki story doesn't need to be heard but when you get people asking where they can purchase the soundtrack, you know you've sent out the wrong message. Maybe you should think about extending the news where of stories of such a serious nature like this are better suited. I've never heard anyone asking for the 10 o'clock news soundtrack

  • Comment number 5.

    I guess that Shaki's mother has gained something positive from the making of the programme, and that reason alone justifies the programme (I say this from the perspective of a mother too). Yes, let's hope that something positive comes from the airing of the programme. Maybe it will create more general interest by showing the 'human' side to gang issues. It was lovely to 'get to know' Shaki as a person, and what a lovely person... For me, the drama has succeeded in presenting people, rather than statistics.

  • Comment number 6.

    i have to say this was a gripping and moving program. i live in east london where shaki was brought up and raised. i have to say there is a lot of gang violence regardless of colour, race and age. 5 mins from my parents house there was a young boy of 16yrs that had got shot because he went to north london.

    it still amazes me why people are so caught up fighting for their turf, and postcode gangs need to earn respect and cred for what they do to feel wanted and a part of a family.
    but anyways to shaki's mum and fam my deepest condolences and RIP shaki x


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