FOR those who knew of Haydan O’Callaghan, his murder conviction yesterday may have felt inevitable.
Aged 14, the Rose Hill teen became one of the youngest in the city to be given an Antisocial Behaviour Order (Asbo) in August 2008. He was banned from the estate for more than three years after terrorising residents for months.
In May 2010, O’Callaghan has sentenced to two years in prison for his part in a burglary with knives.
And less than two years later, aged just 18, he stabbed Aaron Buron to death outside Gary Smith’s house in St Martin’s Road.
Mr Smith, 45, said O’Callaghan was infamous on the estate.
He said: “When I heard who it was I was shocked, but not that surprised to hear it was Haydan.”
Mr Smith said O’Callaghan used to play with his son at their home in Lenthall Road when he was about five.
“He was always a little tearaway,” Mr Smith said. “As he got older you heard more and more things about him and it seemed he was on a very steep path to his self-destruction.”
O’Callaghan was given the Asbo after he admitted abusing street wardens and Police Community Support Officers, and being part of a gang which drank and smoked cannabis.
At the time, police told the Oxford Mail O’Callaghan was a ringleader of the group which spat, swore, and intimidated local residents. O’Callaghan was also banned from having alcohol in a public place and using violence.
When he was 16, O’Callaghan was jailed for two years for his part in an aggravated burglary in which a gang burst into an East Oxford room and held a knife to a man’s throat before stealing a games console.
The teenager, who committed the crime while on licence for a stabbing, was described in court as the ringleader.
And because his crime was so serious, the judge lifted reporting restrictions to allow the Oxford Mail to identify him.
O’Callaghan’s other previous convictions include burglary, shoplifting, criminal damage, multiple Asbo breaches, and grievous bodily harm after repeatedly stabbing a man in the street. Ray James, chairman of Rose Hill Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said he was glad Mr Buron’s family had seen justice done.
He added: “It’s very tragic when things like this happen and it begs lots of questions as to how and why. As a community it’s very tragic and very sad that things have come to a head like this.”
Ed Turner, Oxford City Council member for the estate, said: “The awful memory of these events lives on in the community. It’s a desperately tragic situation.”