Mother gets life – with a 23-year minimum sentence – after driving her son and a pack of friends to the home of boy they then murdered

A mother and her son were among a group jailed for killing a 17-year-old in a machete attack.

Levi Ernest-Morrison was chased by the pack of youths that attacked him with knives and a machete in Sydenham, on the evening of 10 April last year. Levi died at the scene.

Nichola Leighton, 37, also from Lockwood Close, Sydenham, had driven the group including her teenage son Tyreese Ulysses, 19, to the scene in her Suzuki Jeep after the victim and his friends had gone to her home looking for her son earlier in the evening.

Nichola Leighton and her son Tyreese Ulysses

Leighton had earlier called the police about this and told the operator that if the boys came back, she would “batter them”.

Leighton became ‘furious’ after Levi Ernest-Morrison and his friends kept knocking on her door looking for her son Tyreese Ulysses.

When 19-year-old Ulysses learned they were ‘bothering’ his mother, he rallied friends, all armed with knives, jurors had been told.

Today (Friday, 28 January 2022) at the Old Bailey she was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23 years after being found guilty of murder and having an offensive weapon following a trial that ended last month.

Her son Ulysses, from Mineral Street, Catford, was sentenced to 13 years in custody and a further five on licence after being found guilty of manslaughter and admitting to having an offensive weapon.

A youth, Alexander Sprules, 17, from Lee Church Street, Blackheath – who could not previously be named for legal reasons – was also jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years.

Another 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 16 years. Both were found guilty of murder and having an offensive weapon in the same trial.

The spot where Levi Ernest Morrison died. PHOTO: Regina Motalib

Julius Capon, Head of the Crown Prosecution Service London Homicide, said: “This was a vicious attack on a teenager which was orchestrated by a mother who drove her son and his friends to commit a violent crime culminating in yet another tragic young death on the streets of London.

“Nichola Leighton should have known better – now she and her son will have to live with the consequences of their actions.

“The prosecution case included telephone evidence, witness testimony and CCTV footage of the chase.

“During the trial Leighton denied knowing that the group she had driven were armed, while Ulysses had suggested that they had only wanted to scare Levi.

“Gang violence has an insidious effect on young lives, families and communities. The CPS will always work with the police to root out violent offenders and bring them before the courts.

“I hope these convictions go some way in providing the family and friends of Levi Ernest-Morrison with some sense of justice. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

Pictured top: Levi-Ernest Morrison and his mother Bonnie

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