Baptista Adjei was killed in Stratford last October
Marvin Dyer stabbed Baptista Adjei, 15, to death on a bus in Stratford, following a Snapchat feud between the pair and two other boys.
The 16-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years’ imprisonment today at The Old Bailey, having been found guilty at the same court last month.
What started our as “banter” in a Snapchat group chat in September 2019 quickly descended into threats of violence.
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 to Dyer and directing him to get on the correct bus.
CCTV showed Dyer 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.
Dyer 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, Dyer’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 Dyer, from the bus, shortly before the murder took place.
He was then charged with conspiracy to murder. He went on trial with Dyer and was found not guilty by a jury at The Old Bailey.
In a victim impact statement, Baptista’s mother said: “We can never get over Baptista’s death but we hope, and I pray, that with time the constant pain that we feel subsides.
“Ours and Baptista’s plans were always that he would finish school and move on to higher education, get married and if he was blessed, to have children and make me a grandmother.
“His dreams, together with mine, will never happen because he was taken from us in such a cruel way.”
Detective Sergeant Suzanne Soren said: “It is sad and concerning that such extreme violence was used to resolve such minor conflict – nothing more than name calling.
“The sentence handed down today will not bring back Baptista. His loved ones will not be healed by the knowledge that justice has been served. They will remember and miss him every day in the years to come.
“Similarly, Marvin Dyer’s family’s lives have been changed forever, their only comfort being that they did the right thing in holding him to account and presenting him to police.
“My thoughts are with everyone touched by this most tragic and needless of incidents and I hope that anyone involved in knife crime and violence takes something from this outcome – nothing is worth the price that will be paid for murder and ultimately, that price is paid not only by the perpetrator and the victim, but also their families.”
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