Man jailed for stabbing ‘well-loved’ victim to death in front of his family

·2-min read
Romell Harley was jailed for 22 years (Met Police)
Romell Harley was jailed for 22 years (Met Police)

A 19-year-old man has been jailed for stabbing a “well-loved” and aspiring banker to death in front of his family.

Romell Harley, 19 of Kirkdale, Sydenham was jailed for 22 years on Monday for killing Tashawn Watt, also 19.

Mr Watt, known as Tata to his family, had been an aspiring banker, police said, and was killed on June 25, 2021.

Police later established Harley had been involvement in an argument with a family member of Mr Watt.

After the argument, he armed himself and confronted his victim. Harley attempted to lure Mr Watt down an alleyway at his home before stabbing him in front of his family.

He then fled the scene while Mr Watt was found collapsed in Miall Walk, Sydenham by officers. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Tashawn Watt was killed in front of his family (Met Police)
Tashawn Watt was killed in front of his family (Met Police)

Harley handed himself in at Lewisham Police Station on June 28, and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He was found guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon at Inner London Crown Court on Monday, March 21 following a trial.

in a statement read to the court, Mr Watt’s mother said: “Tata was well loved by everybody. He was a calm, kind character, he would walk away from any confrontation. I never thought I would have to bury one of my children at such a young age in such senseless circumstances.

“I can see that day so vividly and I relive it everyday. My house does not feel the same, it’s missing Tata. I wake up every day and expect to hear the boys talking, the house is now so quiet now that Tata has gone. I sometimes talk to Tata to feel closer to him.

“My last memory of Tata was him dying on the floor in front of me. I decided to go and see Tata in the chapel to try to get rid of this image from my head. Tata looked sad like it wasn’t his time to go, it didn’t seem right he was taken so soon from us.

“Tata is missing from every family photo. Every birthday, every Christmas Day, every family occasion Tata is missing.”

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, who led the investigation, said: "My thoughts remain with Tashawn's family as they continue to come to terms with the loss of their loved one in such awful and needless circumstances. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

“Harley took a young man’s life in a brutal, pre-mediated attack because he was angry at being asked to leave the Watts’ family home. It’s absolutely shocking.

"I am pleased that as a result of our investigation we have delivered justice for the Watts by ensuring the person responsible for Tashawn's killing will spend a considerable time behind bars."

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