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Grieving mum vows to ‘fight on for my son’

Police cleared by probe into claim they failed to protect gang victim

22 March, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Youth worker Nashon Esbrand was stabbed by gang

A BEREAVED mother has said “she will keep fighting” after a ruling that six Islington police officers had “no case to answer” in a misconduct investigation into claims they failed to protect her son before he was murdered by a notorious gang.

Nashon Esbrand, 27, was stabbed to death by five members and associates of the Cally Boyz gang and Essex Road gang after he was hunted down in August 2017.

He had just said goodbye to his new-born baby girl and partner when he was spotted by one of the youths and fatally stabbed just yards from his mother’s house in Mitchison Road, Islington, as he desperately tried to escape.

Four youths have been convicted of murder at the Old Bailey while one has never been identified through CCTV footage.

It was revealed during the two trials of Mr Esbrand’s killers that he had made numerous reports to Islington police officers that he was being targeted by “boys” after previously going to the police with information.

Nashon’s mother Princess Barton, left, outside the Old Bailey

A youth worker at the time of his death, Mr Esbrand, from Upper Holloway, was never in a gang.

His mother, Princess Barton, condemned the way police handled her misconduct claim after the results were released to the public before she received the full report.

“I feel disgusted and sick to my stomach,” she said. “They haven’t contacted me since the investigation started almost a year ago. My solicitor hasn’t received the full report yet. My son is dead and police haven’t organised a meeting with me.”

She added: “They did not protect my son. Maybe they just look at my son and say: ‘Oh, he’s just a black youth’ and they did not care? I will never leave it. I will keep fighting for my son and other boys on the streets.”

Ms Barton believes that Islington Police launched an internal investigation into the circumstances that led to her son’s death only after she went on national TV last summer.

Mr Esbrand made numerous reports to police that he was being targeted in the two years before he was brutally stabbed.

A transcript of a police interview from March 2017 – just five months before his murder – was read out at the Old Bailey last month. Mr Esbrand told Islington officers: “I’ve spoken to the police and co-operated with the police and I’ve got loads of threats because of that so they’re coming to maybe hurt me because of this.”

Tributes to Nashon

Ms Barton believes her son was targeted by gang members after she convinced him to go to police with information which saw one of them arrested. She still does not know what safeguarding procedures were put in place to protect her son.

She said: “It makes me feel like I shouldn’t have gone to the police. I am sorry I went to them with my son. I forced my son to go to the police. I feel guilty now.

“He was so scared. He would sit outside our house at 6am because he didn’t want to be in his house. He didn’t want to be alone. He didn’t know when they were going to strike.”

An internal misconduct or gross misconduct investigation by the Met’s Professional Standards branch concluded that six officers who dealt with Mr Esbrand before his murder had “no case to answer”.

But two Islington police officers were issued with “manage­ment action under the unsatisfactory perfor­mance procedure”.

The Met would not reveal if these two officers had been removed from their positions this week. Three others received “individual learning”.

The misconduct investigation was launched after a “closer review” of five crime reports made by Mr Esbrand. Nine reports were originally examined. Ms Barton said: “Nashon isn’t here any more but I am here. I can tell the truth for him.

“I was present with him when he kept going to Islington police station [to report he was being targeted]. He did not go on his own.”

Ms Barton said she was now looking to appeal against the Met’s decision.

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