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Jay Hughes: Boy, 17, convicted of murder after stabbing 15-year-old to death in 'unprovoked attack' outside chicken shop in south London

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A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of murder after stabbing a “defenceless child” in the heart during an “unprovoked attack”outside a chicken shop in south London.

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The youth, from Penge – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murder after stabbing 15-year-old Jay Hughes to death in Lewisham.

Jay, one of the youngest victims of knife crime in the capital last year, had been described as a “loving and thoughtful boy” by friends.

The court heard how the teen had been waiting for a friend by a chicken shop on Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, and had plans to attend a youth club later that night on November 1, 2018.

While he waited, a young man Jay knew approached him and began to speak to him, before a black Ford Galaxy pulled up to the junction.

Jai Sewell, 15, was stabbed to death 100 yards from his home (**FACEBOOK IMAGE**)

Police said three men, who were armed with machete-style knives, then got out of the car and ran towards Jay and his friend.

His friend ran, but Jay did not flee. One of the men then launched the fatal attack, plunging the knife into his heart, before shouting ‘I got one’. 

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the heart. 

Police said in a statement: “Three males, armed with large machete type knives, got out of the car and ran towards Jay and his acquaintance.

“The person Jay was talking to ran off and was pursued by two of the armed males. However Jay did not run and remained outside the shop.

“It was at this point that the defendant approached Jay and proceeded to stab him once in the left hand side of his upper body.”

Witnesses to the violent attack said they heard the attacker say “I got one” and that Jay did not do or say anything to provoke the attack.

After stabbing Jay, the suspect ran back towards to vehicle, police said. 

The schoolboy then stumbled into the chicken shop to get help.

Hospital IT Worker Thomas Coffie, 23, previously told the Standard members of the public tried desperately to save his life.

Police officers at the cordon in Bellingham (Nigel Howard)

Detective Inspector David Hillier from the Met’s Homicide Command said: “Jay Hughes was just a 15-year-old child who was simply waiting for a friend and planning to spend the evening at a youth club; this could have been anyone’s child that evening.

“What Jay did not know, was that at that moment the defendant had armed himself with a knife and set out with others to do violence.

“Jay was talking to a friend when the events unfolded around him. Witnesses later told police he did nothing to provoke the attack, he did not even run. I doubt Jay really understood what was happening in front of him.

“The defendant wickedly approached and stabbed a defenceless child through the heart. A witness heard him boast that he had ‘got one’ and I am at loss to understand how anyone could crow about such a despicable act.

“The defendant then fled the scene, leaving a dying child and a family that has been devastated by a loss that is beyond imagining.”

He added: “The defendant was tracked down and arrested. Even after all the horror he inflicted with a weapon, a large hunting knife was found in the waistband of his trousers, even after stabbing a young child to death.

“The defendant throughout the trail denied his involvement claiming he did not know where he was that day. The jury saw through this and found him guilty of this heinous act. Even at the verdict, the defendant did not show any remorse.

“My heart goes out to Jay’s family and I can only hope that this guilty verdict will help in some small way.”

Jay was one of two young men to be killed in knife attacks in London within 24 hours of each other last November, and was the 114th homicide in London that year.

Three other people have been in arrested in connection with this investigation, police said.

The teenager will be sentenced on August 2. 

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