But it is an experience her mother will remember for ever. So how had my sweet little girl ended up with teenagers who stabbed each other with knives and broken bottles? Born in to Monique and her husband Dominic, a building consultant, she was, according to her mother, a delightful little girl. But when Eliza was four, the couple separated, perhaps the only incident to blight her otherwise content life.
From the perfect middle-class daughter to a teenage gangster | Daily Mail Online
Mum and I provided a wonderful home for them. One of us was always there to make a dinner and supervise homework.
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We lived very comfortably and the four of us would spend the six-week summer holidays travelling. We went to Australia, China, India and all over Europe. If they did, they never mentioned it.
Both thrived at school. When Eliza joined her convent secondary school at 11, she told me how she wanted her teachers to be happy with her. But after her 13th birthday Eliza changed. Monique — perhaps naively — blamed puberty. Sometimes she would push over her desk and storm out of the class. On other occasions, she refused to do her work and was placed in isolation. The out-of-control teenager the teachers described to me was unrecognisable from my lovely daughter. If they asked me to carry through a punishment I would ground her, take away her laptop, her mobile phone, whatever it took.
But nothing made a difference. Despite growing up in a loving middle-class home, Eliza, began rebelling in her early teens and fell in with the wrong crowd. Monique attempted to talk to her daughter several times, but the young girl refused to explain what was going on.
Eliza had seen little of her father since she was six when he moved to Kent to start another family.
My newly 18 year old year old daughter is dating a gang 'member' and threatening to leave with him?
He was supposed to have our children every other weekend, but that meant Eliza would miss her music and dance classes, so she often stayed at home. Following her 13th suspension, Eliza, was warned that the next time she would be excluded for good. The suspensions were only for one or two weeks at a time but because she spent so much time away from school she found it difficult to keep up and felt increasingly like an outsider among her peers.
I was at the school every week having meetings with the head. Eliza was given the nickname 'Princess Triad' by her fellow gang members. We both cried a lot that day.
Eliza was sent to a pupil referral unit, a teaching facility for pupils who have been excluded which was near her home. They have specialist teachers who work with children in smaller groups to enable them to complete the curriculum and sit their GCSEs. Scared and vulnerable, Eliza quickly fell in with the wrong crowd.
And they would all get into fights with teenagers from other gangs — including Eliza. All members had assumed names, to protect their identities, and Eliza was given the moniker Princess Triad which she embroidered across the back of her bomber jacket. But at least I knew where Eliza was if she was under my roof. But I was terrified that, if I clipped her wings completely, she would run away.
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One afternoon, when Eliza was 15, Monique received a call from Croydon police to say they had Eliza at the station. The teacher called the police and, following a scuffle, Eliza found herself accused of attempted assault on the officer. But worse was to come. A few months later Eliza arrived home with a bloodied nose, black eye and cracked cheekbone.
She had been attacked by hoodies, who had also stolen her mobile phone. At the hospital doctors said it would take several months for her cheek to heal.follow
From the perfect middle-class daughter to a teenage gangster
Yet, still, she refused to leave the gang. She vowed to do all she could to prevent other deaths. Now, a team of 50 mentors, many former gang members, visit more than schools in Croydon and Bromley. Monique is incredibly proud of her daughter, but knows that some families are not so lucky. She could have ended up dead. From the perfect middle-class daughter to a teenage gangster: Thought only sink-estate youngsters get sucked into Britain's deadly gang culture?
Share this article Share. Here's my number want to know what happens You can't do anything because she's It's HER life and it doesn't matter what you remember. She clearly doesn't care.
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