The father of an up-and-coming young athlete who was stabbed to death at a tube station by a violent thug who was out on licence for stabbing someone else, has demanded more stop-and-search as he spoke out about his family’s pain.
Promising athlete Tashan Daniel, 20, was murdered in cold blood by Alex Lanning.
Lanning initiated the violent knife attack that would end with Tashan losing his life because Tashan allegedly “looked at him” at Hillingdon Station in West London.
Lanning was a violent drug dealer who, at the time of the murder, was out of prison on licence.
He had only served half of a four-year sentence after he repeatedly stabbed someone in Brighton. He was released from prison in March 2018.
On 24th September 2019, evil Lanning stabbed Tashan through the heart with a serrated blade.
Earlier this month, Lanning was found guilty of murdering Tashan who was an aspiring photographer and first-class 200-metre sprinter.
Tashan’s loving parents believe that their son could still be alive today if repeat violent offenders like Lanning were targetted more by the police and the probation services.
Chandima, Tashan’s father, told the Standard:
“The habitual carrying of knives by some young people didn’t really hit home until Tashan’s killing. The scary part is how readily they are to use them.
“If Lanning had been stopped and search on his way to the station, then we wouldn’t be having the conversation. It would be totally justified why a man like that would be stopped.
“I understand both sides of the debate, but until you’ve walked in our shoes, you don’t understand the importance of stop and search.
“We also question why Lanning was on licence after just serving two years. It doesn’t sit well with us.
“If he was being watched more carefully, Tashan’s murder probably wouldn’t have happened.
“London is really unsafe. It’s a shame because there was nothing I loved more than living in our area.”
Tashan’s parent arrived at the tube station just as paramedics were trying to save their son’s life.
Meanwhile, Lanning was seen to smirk as he fled the scene and went into hiding for two weeks as detectives hunted him down.
“As a family of four with Tashan, we had a great dynamic. Life was pretty awesome.
“But since the loss of Tashan, we’re trying to find our feet.
“We share the grief, but for me, my wife and daughter deal with it each our own way.
“As much as we are tight, we have actually kind of drifted apart as well. This is why knife crime tears family’s apart.
“I hope anyone tempted to carry a knife can see the devastation it causes to all families, not just the victim’s but their own.”
Days before he was brutally murdered, Tashan had celebrated his 20th birthday and had received some football match tickets as a gift.
On the day of his murder, whilst travelling to watch the game, Alex Lanning, 22, of Cowdray Road in Uxbridge, was stood on the opposite platform.
Without reason, he began shouting at and threatening Tashan and his friend. The groups were unknown to each other.
Lanning then used the overbridge to cross the tracks. At the bridge, he was joined by Jonathan Camille, 19, of Fulham Road, London.
Both then approached and attacked Tashan and his friend.
During the attack, Lanning pulled the serrated knife and stabbed Tashan in the chest after Tashan had gained the upper hand and was attempting to end the fight.
To hide their involvement in the cold-blooded murder, the court heard how Lanning and Camille removed and hid their blood-stained clothes in a nearby housing estate.
They stole and wore women’s pyjamas from a washing line, hoping to hide their identities, even going to the extent of wearing towels on their heads when approaching CCTV cameras.
The serrated knife used to murder the 20-year-old was found hidden under a paving slab in the same housing estate where Lanning and Camille hid their clothes.
Lanning was forensically linked to the weapon.
The knife, which had a serrated edge and a hook, was designed to be used by fighter pilots to cut the tough Perspex glass out of jets.
Following an extensive 10-day police investigation, Lanning and Camille were identified, arrested and charged with murder.
Camille was found guilty of manslaughter. Lanning was found guilty of murder.
Detective Chief Inspector, Sam Blackburn, of the British Transport Police, said:
“Tashan had just celebrated his 20th birthday. He was an upstanding young man, and a keen and talented athlete, specialising in the 200m sprint.
“He had set out that day to watch Arsenal play football with tickets he’d received as a birthday present, but instead died in a senseless and unprovoked attack at the hands of Lanning.
“Throughout the trial we heard of Lanning efforts to evade justice and how he was assisted by Camille – fleeing the scene, hiding the murder weapon, and removing and replacing their blood-stained clothes.
“Witnesses even saw Lanning smiling as he ran away.
“At no point did he show remorse, and neither man handed themselves into the police, requiring an extensive investigation to ensure they were arrested and brought before the courts.
“Although both men have now been convicted, and will face substantial jail time, no level of justice will ever be enough for the loss of such a young and promising life, and it won’t fill the hole that Tashan’s death has left in the lives of his loved ones.
“Throughout the investigation and court proceedings we’ve learned about Tashan’s life, the love he shared with his mum and dad, his childhood, his interests and his aspirations. He was a good and loving lad who’ll be dearly missed.”
Tashan’s family have set up the Tashan Daniel Campaign, which aims to tackle knife crime by getting it to the top of the political agenda.
As well as raising awareness, they want anyone possessing a knife in public to face the same minimum sentence as they would for having a firearm
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