A mother who drove her son and his friends to stab a teenage boy has been handed a life sentence.
Nicola Leighton, 36 and two boys aged 16 and 17, were found guilty in December of the murder of Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, in Sydenham in April. Leighton’s son Tyreese Ulysses was found guilty of manslaughter.
Leighton was sentenced to at least 23 years in prison at the Old Bailey. Ulysses was sentenced to thirteen years. The 17-year-old got twenty years in prison. The 16-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of sixteen years.
Det Ch Insp Chris Wood said: “We have got a mother that has driven one of her sons to assist in committing this offence; it makes it even more bizarre and upsetting for the family.
“It’s shocking. I have never seen a case like this where a mother has driven her son and others to commit an offence like this.”
Julius Capon, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Nichola Leighton should have known better – now she and her son will have to live with the consequences of their actions.”
The court heard how Leighton became “furious” after Ernest-Morrison and his friends kept knocking on her door looking for Ulysses.
When Ulysses found out they were “bothering” his mother, he rallied his friends, armed with knives.
Levi was chased through Sydenham on April 10, before finally being fatally stabbed to death.
The prosecutor, Bill Emlyn Jones QC, said the attack took just 30 seconds.
After the attack, the young men fled to a red Suzuki driven by Leighton, who sped them away.
The Old Bailey also heard that there were gang associations on both sides, with the attackers having links to the LDG gang in Sydenham, and the targets belonging to Block 6 from Catford.
Mr Emlyn Jones said: “That evening, when Levi and the others came knocking on her door, Nichola Leighton was furious.
“She rang the police about it and told the police that if the boys came back, she was going to batter them.
“But before she had phoned the police, she contacted her son Tyreese Ulysses.
“The prosecution say that having heard from his mum that Levi and his friends had come round to his mum’s house and were bothering her, he then rallied the troops.”
CCTV caught most of the attack, on which Leighton could be heard encouraging the chasers to catch the boys.
Leighton admitted driving the boys to the scene but denied being aware they were armed, while her son claimed they only wanted to scare off the gang.