‘My heartache 17 years on’: Corey Wright’s mother holds London Fields vigil on anniversary of ‘Murder Mile’ shooting

Janet Wright

Janet Wright - Credit: Janet Wright

The mother of Corey Wright, whose 2001 murder in Lower Clapton has never been solved, is joining forces with other bereaved parents on the 17th anniversary of his death.

Corey was 20 when he was shot in the back of the head on April 21, 2001. He was a passenger in a blue BMW outside the Chimes nightclub – in what became known as Lower Clapton’s “murder mile”.

Driver Wayne Henry, who was 19, was also killed in the hail of bullets, and their killers have never been traced.

“It was the onset of gang rivalry between Hackney and Tottenham and it was one of the first major gang-related killings,” his mother Janet, from South Hackney, told the Gazette.

Having become a prayer leader last year, she wants to commemorate his death and unite the community in London Fields on Saturday at 1pm, when she will launch her organisation Mothers With A Voice.

“It is 17 years coming up to the day, but it doesn’t change,” said Janet. “It could be yesterday and every time you hear about a new death it brings it back.

“It’s the first gathering for the group, and it’s poignant that it’s Corey’s memorial. Two youths got killed from yesterday to today [in London] – it’s never ending. I’ve had so many emails from mothers who are heartbroken.

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“All this postcode stuff is getting too much. Everyone has an opinion of what’s the cause, but for me that’s neither here nor there. We need to voice how we are feeling as mums and the things that happen after.

“It’s 17 years on. I am almost ready to share how I’m feeling and recognising that I’m not on my own.”

Corey was one of six youths convicted for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent over the death of 16-year-old Kingsley Iyasara on the Carlton Lodge Estate, Finsbury Park. Kingsley was attacked by 16 youths who beat him with sticks and bats before being shot in the leg – supposedly in revenge for stabbing one of them. Janet believes Corey was killed in retaliation for Kingsley’s death, but she believes her son had nothing to do with it.

“I wouldn’t say he was mixing with the wrong people,” she said. “He went to nursery school with these friends. I know their parents. I would never have called them a gang. It’s a group of guys who had known each other all their lives.”

While there are a lot of parents’ groups out there, Janet doesn’t necessarily agree with their agenda.

“I’ve sat on both sides of the fence, where my son has been convicted of something he wasn’t involved in, and I’ve been on the side of it where he’s a victim and no longer here. There are a lot of sites for justice, saying the government have failed us.

“I don’t agree with passing blame so I don’t go on marches, but I do believe education is what’s going to change things. That’s not just educating the youth but also educating us young mums. I had Corey when I was 18, and we make bad choices. Our girls need education to have that understanding to understand that not every boy who says he likes you is ready to have a family.”

Corey had finished his studies and was hoping to start a construction business.

“He was a very bright guy and had a lot ahead of him – he was very clever, and had all his exams,” said Janet. “The world was his oyster, but his dreams and aspiration were shattered.

“I have a lot of mixed feelings, and as parents we blame ourselves.

“I’ve never had any sort of closure and whether a conviction would make a difference I don’t know.”