Richard Adams (Father of racist murder victim Rolan Adams

Reproduced with the kind permission of Waterside Press, who retains the copyright. Publication of all or part of this appreciation requires the written permission of Waterside Press.

In February 1991 – 26 months before the murder of Stephen Lawrence brought racist murders in the London Borough of Greenwich to public attention – my teenage son Rolan was the first of four black people murdered by white killers. Rolan was attacked by a 15-strong gang of racist cowards. His younger brother Nathan escaped. The police and Crown Prosecution Service connived to remove the racist element from the crimes. Only Mark Thornburrow was convicted of the murder.

As a victim of institutional racism I quickly saw the injustice of the case of the Cardiff Five and came to appreciate and ad mire the work that Satish Sekar out in on that case especially. He cared about all the victims of that injustice and others too. Twenty years later he continues to fight for justice. His role in that case was pivotal – having worked not only to free the innocent, but to bring the guilty to justice. Even after making history in that respect he continues to fight on to bring to book the system that allowed so gross an injustice to happen. I met the late Yusef Abdullahi and worked with him as well as Satish. It was tragic to learn what happened to Yusef and to think of the failure to restore him to the life he should have had.

In his case there is no doubt that he was a victim of crime as well as and should have received every support available, yet he was left to rot by a system that had wronged him, his co-accused and Lynette’s family terribly. There are forgotten or ignored victims of crime. My family has first-hand experience of that. I appreciated Satish’s often unseen efforts to help all of the victims. Twenty years after we met in horrible circumstances we remain friends and working together. Sadly the battle against injustice that brought us together remains to be won.”

Richard Adams

(Father of Rolan Adams and Trustee of The Fitted-In Project)

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