Tashan Daniel: Man guilty of London Underground murder

Image source, BTP
Image caption,
Alex Lanning (left) and Jonathan Camille (right) were guilty of murder and manslaughter respectively

A man has been convicted of murdering an aspiring Olympian who was stabbed to death on a London Underground platform.

Tashan Daniel, 20, was stabbed in the heart at Hillingdon Tube station in west London as he made his way to watch Arsenal play.

He was attacked with an army knife designed for NATO military rescues, which killer Alex Lanning claimed came from the set of the Fast & Furious.

Jonathan Camille, 20, was convicted at the Old Bailey of manslaughter.

Lanning had admitted Mr Daniel's manslaughter but claimed the stabbing was an accident.

The 22-year-old had been released half way through a four-year sentence in 2018 for wounding a man and was on licence at the time he killed Mr Daniel.

Image source, BTP
Image caption,
Alex Lanning (wearing a cap) confronted Tashan Daniel (wearing an Arsenal top) at Hillingdon station

The court had heard how Mr Daniel and his friend Treyone Campbell were confronted by the killers after Lanning had asked Mr Daniel "what he was looking at" across the Tube tracks.

Mr Campbell said "violence erupted" and Lanning and Mr Daniel broke off into a fight on the platform.

As a train pulled into the station, Mr Daniel was stabbed in the heart by Lanning with a £200 German-made knife, which the court heard had been "designed for NATO military aircraft rescues with the capacity to saw through laminated glass and cut through seatbelts".

Image source, BTP
Image caption,
Alex Lanning told the court he took the knife from Warner Bros studios

He had claimed he came into possession of it when he had been working on the latest Fast & Furious action movie, F9.

The defendants fled the station and discarded their clothes and the murder weapon in a nearby estate.

The pair then changed into floral pyjamas and went on the run for 10 days before being arrested.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Chandy Daniel (second from right), Celia Daniel (centre) and Tashan's sister Oceanna Daniel (second from left) were present in court for the verdicts.

Following his arrest, Camille told police he had crossed platforms after Lanning had told him two boys had been abusive to him.

The court heard Lanning had previously been jailed for wounding a man with a knife in Brighton in July 2016 and was caught with 250 wraps of heroin at the time of that attack.

Mr Daniel's family broke down in tears as the verdicts were delivered.

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

His father previously said he "wanted to make the Olympics" and "set his standards high".

Media caption,
Tashan Daniel was making a trip to the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal when he was killed

Speaking outside court, Chandy Daniel, 49, said his son was a "fantastic human being" with "so much potential and so much to give".

He said: "It is in no doubt, nor has it ever been, that this was a senseless, needless, horrific and ultimately unnecessary act of violence. One that our family shall be paying for for the rest of our lives.

"On that day a man, who let's not forget, already held a conviction for stabbing someone else, was free to walk around with a murderous weapon in his possession.

"I held him, stroked his face, and kissed him, as he lay on that platform, only to be told by the paramedics that there was nothing more that they could do for him."

He condemned the killers for their "complete lack of remorse or empathy" as they tried to avoid responsibility.

Judge Mark Dennis QC said he would sentence both defendants at the same court on 20 August.

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