Mum and son among group jailed for killing teenager
A mother and her son were among a group jailed for killing a 17-year-old in a machete attack.
Levi Ernest-Morrison was chased by the group that attacked him with knives and a machete in Sydenham, south London, on the evening of 10 April last year. Levi died at the scene.
Nichola Leighton, 37, had driven the group including her teenage son Tyreese Ulysses, 19, to the scene in her Suzuki Jeep after the victim and his friends had attended her home looking for her son some days before and earlier in the evening.
Leighton had called the police about this and told the operator that if the boys came back, she would “batter them”.
Today (Friday, 28 January 2022) at the Old Bailey she was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23 years after being found guilty of murder and having an offensive weapon following a trial that concluded in December last year. Her son Ulysses was sentenced to 13 years in custody and a further five on licence after being found guilty of manslaughter and admitting to having an offensive weapon.
A youth, Alexander Sprules, 17, who could not previously be named for legal reasons was also jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years. Another 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 16 years. Both were found guilty of murder and having an offensive weapon in the same trial.
Julius Capon, Head of CPS London Homicide, said: “This was a vicious attack on a teenager which was orchestrated by a mother who drove her son and his friends to commit a violent crime culminating in yet another tragic young death on the streets of London.
“Nichola Leighton should have known better – now she and her son will have to live with the consequences of their actions.
“The prosecution case included telephone evidence, witness testimony and CCTV footage of the chase.
“During the trial Leighton denied knowing that the group she had driven were armed, while Ulysses had suggested that they had only wanted to scare Levi.
“Gang violence has an insidious effect on young lives, families and communities. The CPS will always work with the police to root out violent offenders and bring them before the courts.
“I hope these convictions go some way in providing the family and friends of Levi Ernest-Morrison with some sense of justice. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”
Notes to editors
- Julius Capon is the Head of the CPS London Homicide unit.
- Nichola Leighton (DOB: 5/1/1985) is from Sydenham in the London borough of Lewisham.
- Tyreese Ulysses (25/3/2002) is from Catford in the London borough of Lewisham.
- Alexander Sprules (DOB: 18/2/2004) is from Blackheath in the London borough of Lewisham.
- A reporting restriction in relation to Sprules was lifted. A reporting restriction for a 16-year-old youth remains in place.