A local tragedy

There is real shock and sadness in Kennington at the death of  Jahreau Shepherd who died after a knife attack during a peaceful barbecue celebrating his 30th birthday.

To the press this might just be another statistic but Jahreau’s death is a tragedy, not just for his family but for our wider community.

I first got to know him a little when he was eight and finding school life at Vauxhall Primary difficult. I was Chair of Governors and with the head Sean Frolish met him and his mum to try and sort things out.  I have clear memories of how passionate an advocate she was for Jahreau and we did our best to make sure he got the education he deserved. I wish I could be certain we succeeded.

He went on to Pimlico School and was a schoolmate of my sons. So I heard about him from time to time with interest.  But life was hard for him, he came under some negative influences, and went to prison.

But that was not the end of Jahreau’s story. He rebuilt his life, was a mentor to local kids, excelled in sports and had become a community leader among our local youth. His death is being mourned in many local institutions where he was making a difference.

In the photos you will see the astonishing memorial that people are tending day and night. There is talk of some permanent memorial to him which I would support.

If you’d like to know more there are many websites and groups talking about him – just google his name.

Cllr Jon Davies.

PS – There were rumours around that the council had asked for the display to be taken down. This is not true. The display is being kept in a wonderful state by dedicated volunteers.

This is what the council Leader’s office said:

Mr Raj Mistry head of the Council’s streets has been alerted that that the tributes are to remain and I would like to offer the reassurance of the Leader that there are no plans to remove these at the present time, nor have any such plans been discussed at this time.


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