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Mum, 37, who drove son and two teens to kill disabled 17-year-old in horror machete attack is jailed


A MUM who drove her son and two teens to kill a disabled boy in a horror machete attack has been jailed.

Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, was hacked to death with knives in the street in Sydenham, south east London over a “petty rivalry between teenagers”.

Nicola Leighton, 37, has been jailed for at least 23 years
Levi Earnest-Morrison, 17, was stabbed to death in Sydenham, south east London

Nicola Leighton, 37, wanted revenge when a group of teenagers including victim Levi turned up at her home looking for her son, 19-year-old Tyreese Ulysses, the Old Bailey heard.

She called police and told officers that if the youngsters came back she was “going to batter them”.

Leighton then rounded up a group of youths, including her son, and roared off in red Suzuki jeep to attack defenceless Levi on April 10, 2021.

Jurors were shown footage of the car racing to the scene and the killers jumping out, armed with knives and machetes.

Leighton is heard encouraging them, shouting: “F***ing run!”

The two teenagers are then seen on CCTV mercilessly hacking at Levi with machetes.

Leighton – together with Alexander Sprules, 17 – and another youth, 16, were convicted of murdering Levi by an Old Bailey jury last month.

Ulysses, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was driven by a desire to protect his mother, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two after a jury deliberated for more than 40 hours.

Judge Peter Rook QC said: ”These are truly grave offences and sadly yet a further example of knife crime that is the scourge of some of our city.

“This group attack was a brutal overreaction to a small problem, a petty rivalry between teenagers.”

He told Leighton: “You Nicola Leighton are a mature woman and the mother.

“Rather than seeking to protect your son you exposed him to danger and encouraged him to participate in the attack knowing full well he was armed with a machete.”

The court heard how a 13-year-old girl was standing on a street corner and witnessed the attack.

She saw them jump from Leighton’s car and then saw them drive off after the killing as the mother screamed: “Hurry and get in before the Feds come.”

Prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones said: “She saw one of them stab Levi, then she heard the terrible screams.”

When Ulysses learned they were “bothering” his mother, he rallied friends armed with machetes, jurors had heard.

Rather than seeking to protect your son you exposed him to danger and encouraged him to participate in the attack knowing full well he was armed with a machete.

Judge Peter Rook QC

The youths jumped out of Leighton’s Suzuki and chased Levi and one of his friends, jurors heard.

Levi was caught and fatally stabbed by Sprules, who Leighton had considered to be like a son.

Prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones QC had said the attack took just 30 seconds.

Leighton said she did not know the boys were armed with knives or any other weapons.

Levi’s devastated mother previously told the court how her son was a ‘beautiful boy with a beautiful heart’.

She said he was “well-mannered and kind” and interested in construction, with dreams of starting a family in their native St Lucia.

The teenager had autism and nerve damage which gave him drop foot, which meant he needed to walk with a crutch.

In a victim impact statement read out in court today, she added: “No mother should have to leave her son alone on the cold stone floor metres away from his warm, loving home.”

Leighton was jailed for life sentence with a minimum of 23 years for the murder and a two-year sentence running concurrently for the second count of possession of an offensive weapon.

Sprules – who fatally stabbed Levi in the groin after he fell on the ground – was locked up for at least 20 years for murder and was also handed a two-year concurrent sentence for possession of an offensive weapon.

The 16-year-old was sentenced to detention for life with a minimum of 16 years and 18 months for possession of an offensive weapon to run concurrently.

Ulysses was jailed for 13 years with and an extended license period of 5 years.

He, too, will serve 18 months concurrently for possession of an offensive weapon.

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