An employee at Warner Bros Studios has been found guilty of murdering a 20-year-old football fan who was on his way to a game.

Alex Lanning stabbed to death talented athlete Tashan Daniel at Hillingdon tube station last September.

Mr Daniel was travelling to an Arsenal league cup game on Tuesday September 24 with a friend when he was stabbed in the heart.

Sprinter Daniel, who had only just celebrated his 20th birthday, died at the station.

At the Old Bailey this week, Lanning, 22, of Uxbridge, was found guilty of murdering Mr Daniel.

Lanning stabbed Mr Daniel with a knife which had a serrated edge and a hook, and was designed to be used by fighter pilots to cut the tough Perspex glass out of jets.

Watford Observer:

The knife used to kill Tashan Daniel Credit: British Transport Police

The BBC reported that Lanning claimed in court he had stolen the knife from the Fast & Furious film set at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden.

But the BBC reported the property master for F9, the ninth main instalment in the Fast & Furious film franchise, was certain the knife Lanning used to kill Mr Daniel was not from the set.

It was said in court this was because the knife was manufactured by a company the studios does not use and because knives for use on set would be blunted.

It was also said that Lanning, who was on license for a previous stabbing in Brighton, worked at the Leavesden studios unloading and cleaning trucks.

Watford Observer:

Warner Bros film studios in Leavesden

Mr Daniel's family reacted with tearful joy when the jury at the Old Bailey returned with a verdict on Thursday of murder for Lanning.

Lanning's accomplice Jonathan Camille, 19, of Fulham Road, London, was found guilty of manslaughter despite being charged with murder.

Speaking outside court, Tashan's father Chandy Daniel, 59, said his son was a "fantastic human being" with "so much potential and so much to give".

He said: "That life, that prospect, that future, was cruelly and needlessly taken away on the afternoon of September 24 2019.

"On that day a man, who let's not forget, already held a conviction for stabbing someone else, was free to walk around with a murderous weapon in his possession.

"That same convicted criminal was able to choose to cross a bridge and a platform for absolutely no reason to confront our innocent son.

"It is in no doubt, nor has it ever been, that this was a senseless, needless, horrific and ultimately unnecessary act of violence. One that our family shall be paying for for the rest of our lives."

Watford Observer:

Tashan Daniel was on his way to an Arsenal match when he was stabbed. Credit: PA

Describing the last moments of his son's life, he said: "As parents, we had to watch in disbelief as the paramedics worked on our son's lifeless body on that platform at Hillingdon - a platform which we will never feel able to use again.

"I held him, stroked his face, and kissed him, as he lay on that platform, only to be told by the paramedics that there was nothing more that they could do for him.

"My wife - his mother - collapsed at the news, unable to comprehend what was happening to our darling boy."

Watford Observer:

The father of Tashan Daniel, Chandy Daniel, alongside mother Celia (right) and sister Oceanna (left), speaks to the media outside the Old Bailey on August 6. Credit: PA

Previously, the Old Bailey heard how Tashan Daniel was "excited" at the prospect of seeing Arsenal play at the Emirates for the first time on September 24 last year.

At about 3.30pm, he kissed his father goodbye and walked to Hillingdon station with his friend, Treyone Campbell, who was going to the football with him.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told jurors that Mr Daniel did not know his attackers, who had been on the opposite platform going the other way.

Lanning had been "looking for trouble from almost the moment he walked onto the westbound platform", the prosecutor said.

The catalyst appeared to be that Lanning thought Mr Daniels was "looking at him across the rail tracks", the court heard.

The defendants changed platforms to confront the pair, the court heard.

Watford Observer:

Alex Lanning and Jonathan Camille pictured on CCTV on the day of the murder. Credit: PA/BTP

Watford Observer:

Alex Lanning (wearing a cap) on his way to Tashan Daniel (in an Arsenal top) at Hillingdon station. Credit: BTP

Mr Rees said: "When the violence erupted, Camille quickly became involved in a fight with Treyone Campbell, and he was still fighting him when Alex Lanning carried out the fatal stabbing."

The court heard Lanning had a previous conviction for wounding a man with a knife in Brighton dating back to July 2016, as well as having 250 wraps of heroin.

Lanning had been released half way through a four-year sentence in 2018 and was on licence for those offences at the time he killed Mr Daniel.

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Police at Hillingdon station after Tashan Daniel's death. Credit: SWNS

Video. Credit: British Transport Police

To try and cover up what they had done, the court heard Lanning and Camille removed and hid their blood-stained clothes in a nearby housing estate.

They stole and wore women’s pyjamas from a washing line, hoping to hide their identities, even going to the extent of wearing towels on their heads when approaching CCTV cameras.

The serrated knife used to murder Mr Daniel was found hidden under a paving slab in the same housing estate where Lanning and Camille hid their clothes.

Lanning was forensically linked to the weapon.

After ten days, Lanning and Camille were identified, arrested and charged with murder.

Watford Observer:

Alex Lanning, left, and Jonathan Camille. Credit: PA

Following his arrest, Camille told police that he had crossed platforms after Lanning had told him two boys had been abusive to him and he wanted to have a chat with them.

He went on to claim that he started to speak to the pair but was "pushed" by Mr Campbell, causing him to act in self-defence.

But Mr Rees argued that both defendants were "in it together to inflict damage on the opposition".

Judge Mark Dennis remanded the defendants into custody to be sentenced on August 20.

Watford Observer:

Floral tributes left at Hillingdon station where Tashan Daniel died. Credit: SWNS

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn, of British Transport Police, said: "Tashan had just celebrated his 20th birthday. He was an upstanding young man, and a keen and talented athlete, specialising in the 200m sprint.

"He had set out that day to watch Arsenal play football with tickets he'd received as a birthday present, but instead died in a senseless and unprovoked attack at the hands of Lanning.

"Although both men have now been convicted, and will face substantial jail time, no level of justice will ever be enough for the loss of such a young and promising life, and it won't fill the hole that Tashan's death has left in the lives of his loved ones."