The mother of a bright, young taekwondo star has called for his death not to be “in vain” as his five killers were jailed.
Mahjouba Greenidge “begged and pleaded” with authorities to save her son, Amrou, after he was befriended by a “dangerous crowd”, the Old Bailey heard.
On August 18 2019, the 18-year-old athlete was targeted by a team of drug dealers who saw him as competition affecting their business on a local estate.
Kai McDonald, 18, ploughed into him in a stolen Mini car, knocking Mr Greenidge off his bicycle, as four others chased on foot with weapons, including large knives.
Mr Greenidge suffered catastrophic injuries in the attack in Fulham, south-west London, and died two days later.
The Mini was torched, damaging several cars parked nearby in the process.
On Monday, Mr Greenidge’s parents described the devastating loss of their “intelligent, witty and caring son” as five men from west London were handed jail terms of up to 20 years for his manslaughter.
Mrs Greenidge said: “I worry that our social class meant despite our hard work we could not protect our son, we could not live in a place of our choosing but rather relied on the State.
“Social housing puts a roof on people’s heads but can also mean that our children mix with the wrong – if not dangerous – crowds and that’s exactly what’s happened to our family.
“Despite Amrou’s best efforts in concentrating on his schooling and sport practice, the negative influences in the local area were becoming more and more aware of his presence.
“They befriended him and as soon as we realised the risk we went to the authorities and raised the alarm.
“We pleaded and begged repeatedly for them to save him, to protect him. We asked for alternative accommodation away from the dangerous crowd.”
She said the family felt there was a “lesson to be learned” from his death – but only if all agencies involved worked together to ensure young people are supported.
She added: “We would like Amrou’s death to bring change and for him not to have died in vain.”
Amrou’s father, Edward Greenidge, added: “I constantly feel like I want to die. I feel this because if I die I will get to see Amrou again.
“My heart has been ripped out. I’m nothing but an empty shell of the man I was.”
The court heard how their son was a bright boy, with 10 GCSEs including an A* in physical education.
He had been a taekwondo practitioner from the age of seven to 17 and had represented Britain at international competitions including the cadet world championships in 2015.
He also excelled in football and gymnastics, the court was told.
Judge Richard Marks QC said the victim impact statements were as “moving and heart-rending” as any he had heard.
McDonald, who admitted manslaughter, was jailed for nine years and nine months.
Connor Gwynn-Bliss, 21, who was on licence and had 25 previous convictions for 63 offences, was jailed for 20 years for manslaughter, arson and perverting the course of justice.
Darrel Mortimer, 21, who had previous convictions for battery and class A drugs, was jailed for 17 years.
Levar Jackson-Scott, 18, was locked up for 12 years and six months.
Judge Marks said he had previously been identified as a victim of modern slavery but his role in the killing was “entirely voluntary”.
Anas Osman, 19, who was subject to a referral order for an assault at the time, was locked up for 11 years and nine months.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, of Scotland Yard, said: “Amrou was deliberately targeted by the defendants, who laid in wait for him with the sole aim of inflicting serious injury.
“A considerable degree of planning went into this offence. The defendants attempted to conceal their identities with balaclavas and hoods before and during the attack.
“They used a stolen car both as a weapon and to flee the scene and a number of them changed their clothing shortly afterwards to avoid detection.
“This was a cowardly attack with Amrou caught unaware and heavily outnumbered.”