A social media tribute to the 16-year-old boy said he will ‘always be missed’
A decades-old gang rivalry spurred on by pride in one’s postcode allegedly led to the death of a teenager inside a derelict western Sydney home.
When a 16-year-old boy was found bloodied, bruised and unresponsive inside a run-down housing commission home in Doonside in Sydney’s west, first responders feared the worst.
Within hours, they were alerted to footage circulating among young people on social media which appeared to show the boy denouncing ’21 District’, a known rival of several of the youth gangs in the Greater West.
Emotional and demonstrably in pain, the boy was forced to repeat the phrase ‘f**k the ’21,’ followed by declaring ’27’ was ‘on top’.
He was allegedly forced to yell obscenities about the ‘inner west’ post code, court documents revealed.
The 27 postcode comprises suburbs including Doonside, Rooty Hill and Mount Druitt – the home of the OneFour gang and separate rap group, who are idolised by many young people in the community for their success on the Australian music scene.
21 District is somewhat of a coalition of gangs with members from all over the inner west comprising of young people usually in their teens or early 20s from postcodes that start with ’21’.
The group is also known as the ‘Innerwest Brotherhood’ and the young victim was forced to denounce a known subgroup, KVT, during the harrowing video.
The 16-year-old boy was found bloodied, bruised and unresponsive inside this run-down housing commission home in Doonside in Sydney’s west
Youth outreach group Junction Works confirmed Sydney’s brutal ‘postcode violence’ had infiltrated younger communities. Pictured: OneFour
Police are investigating whether the boy’s death was linked to increasing postcode violence in the community.
Tensions between gangs from the west and inner west have reportedly been fraught for more than two decades and spanned several generations of members.
Recruits within each gang are taught to take pride in their postcode above all else, often brawling, stealing and even killing in the name of their hometowns.
The young victim reportedly grew up in Sydney’s south east, attending Pagewood Primary School and frequenting Coogee beach each school holidays up until just a few years ago.
At one stage, he was reportedly living in Marrickville in the inner west.
He was allegedly lured to the home by his friend, 19-year-old Kayla Dawson. The teen mum lived at the property and was said to be put out after a fake pair of Airpods were stolen from her.
She allegedly told the boy she was throwing a party, but when he arrived to the home, police claim four boys aged between 13 and 15 and a 15-year-old girl set upon him.
The 21District crew hail from the Harbour City’s inner west and have millions of views online for their drill rap videos
Police are investigating whether the boy’s death was linked to increasing postcode violence in the community
It is not clear if the group knew the alleged victim personally, or what their direct links are to youth gangs in the area.
Youth outreach group Junction Works confirmed Sydney’s brutal ‘postcode violence’ had infiltrated younger communities.
‘It is across all of Western Sydney that this is happening,’ a spokesman said.
‘It’s an ongoing issue. It’s mainly in the Guildford and Blacktown areas but there’s also recently been issues with gang violence among young people in different postcodes within the Canterbury-Bankstown area too.’
Sydney rapper Big Kash slammed the toxic culture which promoted and glorified violence within young fans.
‘This is the life that all you dumb rappers glorify to these little kids without telling them the consequences of this life… condolences to the family, nothing but pain and misery on that side of the fence,’ he said in a tribute post.
In court documents police allege a 15-year-old girl (left) was the ‘major instigator’ of the attacks on the 16-year-old boy at Doonside
Several of the teenagers who were charged with murdering the 16-year-old boy are pictured above
District 21 is a known music group, similar to OneFour, creating songs about street violence and life on the streets.
Both music groups insist they are not affiliated with street gangs of the same name, in the same suburbs that are sung about in the songs they write.
But police have expressed concerns that the atrocities referenced in the lyrics incite further violence and inspire young fans.
The four official and original members of OneFour say the name comes from the year they were established.
‘All characters in this music video are entirely fictional and are used for entertainment purposes only,’ a disclaimer on one of their YouTube clips states.
‘The lyrical content should not be taken literally. The events that occur are purely symbolic — both artist and makers do not condone violence.’
Kayla Dawson, 19, the resident of the house, allegedly called 000 about an hour after many of the teenagers left the home
The sixteen-year-old boy (above) died at Westmead Hospital on Saturday after he was allegedly brutally bashed at a home in Doonside three days prior
Two of the four members have served time in jail after they were linked to a brutal bashing in the pokies room at a Rooty Hill pub, while their manager was also served with a non-association order with the remaining two members on the outside.
Recent violence prompted NSW Police to set up Strike Force Imbala, which consists of 20 detectives and analysis experts and monitors the activities of youth gangs.
‘They are very much into the rap culture talking about (Los Angeles rival gangs) The Crips and Bloods and other violent groups,’ one officer previously told The Daily Telegraph.
Teen mum Kayla Dawson did not apply for bail and it was formally refused at court on Monday
‘This is about being on the front foot and also letting these young members know if you want to be part of a gang you are going to be targeted for police attention.’
Children as young as 13 are joining gangs and are often still active in their early 20s.
‘There is the danger that if you don’t get to some of those involved early they are recruited by proper criminal gangs like the bikies,’ Western Sydney University lecturer and former NSW detective Dr Mike Kennedy has previously warned.
Tim Watson-Munro, a criminal psychologist, said young people have always sought a sense of belonging and community within their peer group.
But he explained this becomes dangerous when young people find ‘security in numbers’ within dysfunctional groups.
‘This leads to trouble,’ he said.
A former New South Wales detective said increased violence in lower socioeconomic communities was often due to a sense of hopelessness.
‘A high proportion of public housing, a high proportion of migrants and a high proportion of unemployment, in any city in the world that is a recipe for disaster,’ Western Sydney University Dr Mike Kennedy said.
‘The governments leave it to the police to deal with so they don’t have to accept responsibility.’
Police will allege in court that the boy was left lifeless on the floor, not breathing. Paramedics managed to restart his heart with a shot of adrenalin but he died in hospital three days later
Sydney rappers OneFour say they’re not gang members themselves and that the characters in the video are fictional
Mate of six teens charged with the bashing murder of a boy, 16, in a postcode gang war was ‘found WEARING the victim’s jumper’ seven hours after his lifeless body was found
The jumper of a teenage boy who was bashed to death was found being worn by a mate of his attackers’ hours later, police claim.
The 16-year-old died last Saturday, three days after police allege that he was beaten by four boys and two girls at a Doonside home amid an apparent conflict involving western Sydney postcodes and a stolen pair of AirPods.
All six teens – including a 15-year-old girl who police believe was the ringleader, and the house’s occupant Kayla Dawson, 19 – have been charged with the body’s murder.
In court documents, police detail how officers caught up with a 15-year-old at a home close to the crime scene about 11.45pm that evening.
That alleged offender was injured and had blood on his hands and shoes, a statement of alleged police facts said.
The court document claimed the teen was with a 32-year-old man who ‘was observed to be wearing (the alleged victim’s) jumper which had a distinct red and blue coloured hood.’
The accused ringleader and another alleged participant, 13 were allegedly found at the older man’s home, police claimed.
Police alleged in court documents that the alleged ringleader was seen to be ‘smiling and laughing’ as the boy was brutally beaten last week.
Court documents alleged the girl yelled ‘stomp on his head, put him in a f***ing grave’ and ‘go finish him off, go go go’ as if cheering her friends on.
Police allege that at one point she grabbed the boy by the hair and rammed his head into a wall, leaving a hole in the gyprock.
The girl is also accused of kicking the boy in the face with the toe of her shoe, jolting his head back.
The young woman allegedly also yelled ‘we’re going to take you to the other house so the other c***s can f*** you up’, court documents claimed.