Sunday, September 4, 2016
A-grade student joined Triad gang and killed top drug dealer
Jerome Castrillo, 18, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mick McGrath
A grammar schoolboy faces life in jail after he was lured into a Chinese Triad gang and killed a notorious drug dealer.
Straight A grade student Jerome Castrillo, 18, took an afternoon off from his A-level studies to beat Michael McGrath to death over an £800 debt.
The teenager, whose mother is a primary schoolteacher and stepfather a postman, carried out the attack while he was a pupil at the prestigious Latymer grammar school in Edmonton, North London.
He was recruited to join the infamous 'Wo Shing Wo' Chinese crime syndicate by older boys at the school on behalf of leader Yuxiang Liu, 25, with the promise of girls and beer.
Despite his comfortable family background and plans to take A Levels in history, maths and media studies, Castrillo dreamed of becoming a gangster.
His parents and teachers had no idea that the teenager - who had achieved nine A or A* grade GCSEs - had entered a life of crime.
Within four months, Castrillo, then 17, skipped school to help in the killing and even boasted afterwards that there had been a lot of blood but claimed he had done it as a favour and had not received a penny.
When he police arrested him at the family home where he lived with his two younger brothers, Castrillo refused to comment while in the earshot of his parents but later admitted he had been at the scene.
Victim: Kathleen McGrath, holding a photograph of her dead husband Mick, outside the Old Bailey today
McGrath, once a millionaire gangster and friend of the Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson, had fallen on hard times after being jailed for drug importation and becoming hooked on heroin in jail.
The 57-year-old let Triad gang hide heroin and crack in his home but he enraged the underworld when he started helping himself to narcotics.
He was punched, kicked and beaten by gang members before a vase was repeatedly smashed over his head at his home in Carshalton, Surrey last November.
The killers went out for a celebratory Chinese meal but they were caught after they left distinctive Chinese-brand cigarette butts at the scene of the crime.
In a 'cut throat' defence they all blamed each other for the murder in court.
Castrillo claimed he had 'pretended' to punch and kick the victim, to impress senior gang members.
Chinese restaurant boss Liu, drug dealer Ryan Parker-Saunders, 23 and Malaysian Wei Leong, 21, were convicted of murder today after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey. Castrillo was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
He showed no emotion when the jury announced their verdict as his mother Cezette Loughran, 39, and his stepfather Matthew Loughran sat in the public gallery.
Guilty of murder: From left to right, Ryan Parker-Saunders, Yu Xiang Liu, and Cho Wei Leong
Crispin Aylett, QC, prosecuting, said: 'How on earth, you may wonder, did he get caught up in all of this? For some time there had been talk at school about a Triad gang called Wo Shing Wo and which is known as SW.
'Boys in the upper sixth had said that if you joined you would be invited to parties where there would be girls and free drinks.'
While in the lower sixth Jerome was approached by the boys in the year above. When the youngster was arrested, police found online records of conversations on his computer in which he bragged about his involvement with the Triads.
In one text-style conversation he told a friend [sic]: 'Do you wanna join SW? Yu basicali (corr) jus go up central 2 sum restaurant...it ain't some lil street gang, itz organised sh*t. 'Wo Shing Wo f**k up everyone they get into beef with.'
After the killing, Castrillo went online and said [sic]: 'And Im fine ill sleep on it n itz most lykly feel beta in da morning...itz just da psychological effectz it had on em.
'u dnt get paid 4 these kinda jobs itz jus a favour...der woz alota blood man ah tel u bout it 2moro.'
Detective Inspector Bob Campany, of the Metropolitan Police, said after the case: 'Triad gangs recruit at schools and colleges. They do not discriminate. Castrillo was a bright lad, he had 9 GCSEs, 3 AS levels and he was goal to get his A levels.
'His parents are decent people but he wanted to be a drug dealer and fraudster.'
Castrillo; Liu, of Islington, North London, Leong, of Wood Green, North London; Parker-Saunders, of West Norwood, South East London will be sentenced on December 22.