Statement from Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz re: sentencing for the murder of Fares Maatou.
Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: "One year on from the brutal murder of 14-year old Fares Maatou in circumstances of the most horrific and senseless kind, my thoughts today are with his family as they continue to mourn the loss of their precious, much loved and missed brother and son. The sentences issued to the two young people who murdered Fares in such a callous way will bring the family some justice but it will never erase their pain. Fares had such a bright future ahead of him, and having spent time with the family since last year, Fares was adored by all those who knew him and everyone remains at a loss. I too feel heartbroken, as I do for all our young people who have their lives taken away in such violent ways.
“Over recent weeks, I attended the Old Bailey with the family as a show of my solidarity and support. As the case progressed in court, I thought constantly that for any young person who thinks violence is an option, it is not. I remain ever more resolved in tackling the violence facing our young people and keeping them safe through ongoing actions and investments so all are enabled to make positive life choices – not to cut life short. This autumn, I will be hosting a symposium on youth safety and adolescents at risk, alongside convening the Mayor’s Youth Safety Board to commence its work for the coming four years.
“But today I will be thinking of Fares and comforting his family through my prayers.”