Machete robber set free by police before fatal gang attack

Tyreese Ulysses (BTP)
Tyreese Ulysses (BTP)

A teenager who killed a 17-year-old boy in a shocking gang attack was arrested before the fatal stabbing over a spree of machete robberies but set free by police, it has emerged.

Tyreese Ulysses was the ringleader of a series of train muggings in September 2020 when DLR passengers were threatened with a knife or a machete and ordered to hand over their phones and valuables.

He was arrested by British Transport Police shortly after the robberies took place but was then set free again and in April 2021 Ulysses was involved in a fatal machete attack on 17-year-old Levi Ernest-Morrison.

British Transport Police said Ulysses was released on bail on October 8, 2020, and his bail was extended for three months on October 28.

On January 6, 2021, at the end of the bail period, he was then released under investigation (RUI).

“The reason for bail and later being released under investigation was to follow all reasonable lines of enquiry, establish the full facts and collate all available evidence to meet the evidential threshold for a CPS charging authority”, the force said in a statement.

He and a group of friends were driven by Ulysses’ mother, 37-year-old Nichola Leighton, to hunt down their rivals as a gang dispute spiralled into violence.

Levi was chased and stabbed to death with machetes in Sydenham on April 10 last year. After an Old Bailey trial, Ulysses – who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia - was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 13 years.

Leighton, a mother-of-three, was convicted of murder and jailed for life, while two others, Alex Sprules, 17, and a 16-year-old boy, were also convicted of murder after inflicting the fatal stab wounds on Levi.

Charges were brought over the spate of knife-point train muggings in August 2021 when Ulysses was already in custody await trial for the fatal stabbing.

Appearing at Inner London crown court last week, he was handed a further jail term of eight years for the robberies.

BTP Detective Constable Chris Pretty said the “despicable” robberies were a petrifying experience for all the victims”, saying Ulysses and accomplice Jamal Wilson, 21, “aren’t fit to be in our community”.

The muggings happened at Deptford Bridge DLR station on September 1 and 17 when victims were stripped of their mobile phones and one lost a Gucci bag he was carrying.

Ulysses, now 20, from Plumstead, pleaded guilty to four charges of robbery and four counts of possessing a knife in a public place.

Wilson, from Lewisham, admitted two counts of robbery as well as charges of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs. He was jailed for 34 months.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named, also admitted four charges of robbery and was sentenced to a three-month rehabilitation order, while a second 17-year-old pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to a one-year rehabilitation order.