‘They didn’t just take my son’s life, they took my whole family’s life’

Mother of gang victim tells Tribune his killer should be locked up and the key thrown away

Friday, 10th January 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Nashon Esbrand

Nashon Esbrand

A MOTHER has spoken out about the “nightmare” of grief and guilt she still feels after one of her son’s killers had eight years added to his sentence.

Princess Barton, from Canonbury, spoke to the Tribune after hearing of the additional time added to Jhon Berhane’s sentence.

In March last year Berhane was convicted of killing Nashon Esbrand, who died just yards from his mother’s home after being hunted down and stabbed to death by five members and associates of the Cally Boyz gang and Essex Road gang in August 2017.

Nashon had just said goodbye to his new-born baby girl and partner when he was spotted by the gang, and killed in Mitchison Road, Islington.

Nashon at his mum’s wedding

Just three months after that fatal attack, Berhane and Dishon Abbot, of Manger Road, N7, went into a pizza restaurant in Stoke Newington and fired a shotgun at a 21-year-old man.

The man picked up a chair, which absorbed most of the force of the shot and probably saved his life, according to police.

Last month Berhane pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and section 18 GBH with intent.

Berhane was jailed for another eight years, to run consecutively to the life term he’s serving for Nashon’s death.

Ms Barton told the Tribune they should “lock him [Berhane] up and throw away the key”.

Princess Barton, left, outside the Old Bailey

“When I hear something like that it reminds me of the day that my son was killed.

“My heart goes out to any family going through what I’ve been through.

“I still go through it every day. Every day, every minute of the day, I’m grieving for my son.

“He was taken away from me in that brutal way. I think the law is too lenient on these young people. They should lock him up and throw away the key.”

Ms Barton also spoke out about the guilt she felt over her son’s death, after persuading him to go to the police.

“All Nashon wanted to do was help people,” she said.

“He didn’t believe in gangs or violence. But he was being targeted all the time. He reported what they were doing to him and they targeted him because he reported it.

“I feel so guilty all the time because I was the one who forced my son to report what was happening.

Dishon Abbot and Jhon Berhane

“I went with him to report it, he wouldn’t do it on his own.

“I have to live with that every day. If I didn’t force him, would he still be alive?

“It’s a parent’s nightmare, and it’s a family nightmare.

“They didn’t just take my son’s life, they took my whole family’s life. We have to live with this every minute of every day. I have to live with that every day. If I didn’t force him, would he still be alive?”

As the Tribune reported last year, the court heard during his killers’ two trials that Nashon had made numerous reports to Islington Police officers that he was being targeted by “boys” after previously going to the police with information.

Ms Barton has previously claimed police failed to protect her son before his death. A misconduct hearing last year found six officers had “no case to answer”.

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