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'Service for peace' at St George’s two years on from murder of David Idowu

The second anniversary of David Idowu's murder has been marked by a service for all victims of violent crime.

Grace Idowu
Grace Idowu
The Mayor and Mayoress of Southwark with Richard T
The Mayor and Mayoress of Southwark with Richard Taylor

Friends and relatives of the 16-year-old schoolboy gathered on Wednesday evening at St George the Martyr Church in Borough High Street which is just a short distance from the scene of the attack in Tabard Gardens.

David's parents Grace and Tim Idowu were in the front row. His brother Peter read extracts from David's essays and another brother James read a passage from St John's Gospel highlighting the evening's theme of light not being overcome by darkness.

Devon Hanson, principal of the Walworth Academy where David was a student, described David as "a young man who was self-motivated and doing exceptionally well".

Also present were Richard Taylor, father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor; Barry Mizen, father of murdered teenager Jimmy Mizen who is commemorated by Leathermarket JMB's apprenticeship scheme, and Ladjua Lesele, mother of Kodjo Yenga who was murdered in Hammersmith.

The Mayor of London was represented by Ray Lewis. The Mayor of Southwark Tayo Situ and his wife Abike attended along with Cllr Linda Manchester and several Metropolitan Police officers.

The service included a period of silence for David and other young victims of violence during which each member of the congregation lit a candle.

David's murderer Elijah Dayoni was included in the prayers. Earlier in the evening, when conributions were invited from people present, an account had been given by a witness to a meeting between Grace and her son's teenage killer.

The closing hymn was David's favourite 'Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!'

Speaking at the end of the service about her son's death, Mrs Idowu said: "People might say that it's two years gone. But it's like yesterday. It's so fresh."

St George's priest-in-charge Fr Ray Andrews praised the work of Grace Idowu and other victims' families who are campaigning against knife crime.

"They have come together to make sure that out of these appalling tragedies something is created that is about life, goodness, forgiveness and hope."

On Sunday the David Idowu Foundation will host a public event in Tabard Gardens with football matches, music, food and speeches.

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