The madness that is Britain's youth knife culture was brought home in graphic style to a jury today when they saw a boy's death videoed on his own mobile phone.
Back in the 1980s and 90s there was an urban legend called the snuff film. These underground videos were said to have involved the murders of young women; they were killed, usually tortured to death, for the sake of entertainment. Two or three surfaced, and they were truly graphic, but it was soon noticed that the same woman, a young Oriental, died in each of them, and although Mrs Mary Whitehouse - she of the Gay Newsblasphemy trial and Mary Long fame - tried to make something of it with outrageous indeed ludicrous claims, no one outside of the pro-censorship lobby paid any attention.
Now, life has mirrored the dark arts. We have already seen people assaulted for the sake of entertainment - so-called “happy slapping” - and actual rapes videoed; today at the Central Criminal Court, a jury was shown a video of a 14 year old boy being killed, and his own phone was the recording medium.
The victim was Leroy James, and the youth accused of killing him is now 15 but can't be named for legal reasons. The killing happened at Ponders End Recreation Ground in Enfield, North London last August.
The accused has pleaded not guilty so it is not clear yet if this was a tragic accident or something more sinister, but what is clear is that the dead boy is yet another victim of the senseless knife culture that permeates the youth of this country. There appears to have been some sort of confrontation, other boys egging them on, with tragic consequences.