Baptista Adjei was killed in Stratford last October
The 16-year-old was convicted at the Old Bailey today for murdering Baptista Adjei, 15, as he was on a bus after school.
Baptista and one of his friends were involved in a snapchat feud with the murderer and another boy.
What initially started our as “banter” descended into threats of violence in a group chat.
Weeks later, on Thursday, 10 October 2019, Baptista was with some friends on a bus heading towards Stratford when another boy who was in the group chat started talking to them.
The jury heard this boy, aged 16, was on the phone and was directing the killer to get on the correct bus.
CCTV showed the killer calmly pull a balaclava over his face while wearing a blue latex glove. As Baptista and his friends made their way down the stairs of the bus, they were caught completely unaware. He stabbed them both with a 10 inch combat knife.
Baptista was stabbed twice in the chest, with the blade puncturing his lung and his heart. He tried to escape but then collapsed outside the Stratford Centre.
Despite the efforts of medics, Baptista died from his injuries a short time later.
His friend was stabbed in the arm and in the leg, and spent almost a week in hospital. He has since made a full recovery.
The suspect made off and discarded his knife, although police later recovered the weapon.
Word of the murder spread quickly on social media and, the following day, the killer’s mum handed him in to police at Forest Gate police station, having confronted him about the attack.
The 16-year-old was charged on Saturday, 12 October 2019 with Baptista’s murder, grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to the second 15-year-old victim and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
Investigators then established that the second suspect was on the bus taken by the victims. This was supported by his Oyster Card records. In addition, checks on his mobile phone showed that he had called the killer, from the bus, shortly before the murder took place.
He was then charged with conspiracy to murder. Today at court, he was found not guilty.
Detective Sergeant Suzanne Soren, said: “For (the killer’s) mother to confront her son and make the decision to make him face the consequences of his actions must have taken considerable bravery.
“Her actions gave Baptista’s family the chance to get justice and some semblance of closure. She should be commended for making that decision, which was right and just.
“The ripples of such extreme violence reach far beyond those immediately involved causing fear and concern. The effects are devastating for our communities who too often are left to try and make sense of what is senseless.
“As Baptista’s family strive to live with their unimaginable loss, the defendants and their families will mourn their own futures together, so quickly lost with an imagined insult, and the point of a blade.
“This case is a sad and tragic example of a low level dispute escalating into the most serious of crimes and is cautionary tale for any young people who are tempted by a lifestyle of knife-carrying and violence. There is no glamour, ultimately, there is only loss.”
A spokesperson for Baptista’s family, said they were disappointed with the verdict for the second suspect.
They said: “Nothing and no sentence will bring back Baptista.
“We want this to be a lesson to those who glamourise this type of crime to bear in mind the long lasting damage it can do to the families involved.”
The boy who was found guilty will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, 25 September.
DCI Chris Soole, who led the investigation, said: “After killing Baptista and seriously injuring his friend, the killer took a bus back to his home in Manor Park.
“I am saddened that anyone can be of a mind-set where murder is considered an appropriate response to chat room banter or name calling.
“My thoughts are with Baptista’s family and friends and I sincerely hope that today’s verdict brings them a measure of peace at this saddest of times.”
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