A teenager has pleaded guilty to stabbing a 14-year-old to death in Croydon. The 17-year-old admitted to the murder of Jermaine Cools at the Old Bailey on Monday, January 9.
The youngster, who was aged 16 at the time of the offence and cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, February 24. The court heard that at 6.41pm on November 18, 2021, a member of the public reported a large fight outside a chicken shop in London Road, Croydon.
The victim, Jermaine Cools, was with a group of youths who were fighting in a shop doorway. While the fight was going on, the defendant was caught on CCTV calmly walking towards the fight and drawing a large knife from his coat.
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Jermaine had fallen over and the defendant ran towards him while he was on the ground. The defendant was seen to repeatedly lunge at Jermaine with the knife, while Jermaine was frantically trying to avoid being stabbed.
However, Jermaine received multiple stab wounds and the defendant ran off from the scene still in possession of the knife. A member of the public approached Jermaine, who was bleeding heavily, and helped him into a car and drove him to Croydon hospital.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Jermaine died at 7.50pm. A special post mortem took place at Croydon University Hospital on November 20, 2021.
Jermaine was found to have suffered seven stab wounds to his body - the fatal wound was one to his chest which had pierced a lung. A murder investigation began immediately and the defendant was quickly identified from CCTV enquiries.
However, he went to great lengths to avoid being detected, with police conducting a fugitive hunt for nearly six weeks. He was only arrested after officers happened to come across him while attending an address, conducting an arrest enquiry for someone else.
He was found to be hiding behind a bed and went on to give a false name. He was arrested on December 27, 2021 for an unrelated matter.
It was while on his way to the police station that he finally provided his real name and was then further arrested for murder. At the station he refused to answer any questions but was charged with Jermaine’s murder.
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