A teenager has pleaded guilty to stabbing 14-year-old Jermaine Cools to death in Croydon.
Today, Monday, 9 January, at the Old Bailey the 17-year-old boy, who was aged 16 at the time of the offence and cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to murder.
He will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 24 February.
The court heard that at 18:41hrs on 18 November 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.
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 succumbed to his injuries and died at 19:50hrs.
A special post mortem took place at Croydon University hospital on 20 November 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 had left his home and the day after the murder he was circulated as wanted.
He went to great lengths to avoid being detected and police had a proactive team conducting a fugitive hunt for nearly six weeks.
He was only arrested as a result of officers attending an address, as they were conducting an arrest enquiry for someone else, and they happened to come across him.
He was found hiding behind a bed and then gave false name. He was arrested at 16:03hrs on 27 December 2021 for an unrelated matter.
It was while on 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.