Teen who butchered boy with machete was out on bail at time of killMay 10, 2023
Stopped for carrying Zombie knives – but left free to kill: County lines child murderer, 17, was on bail for having lethal blades when he butchered boy, 14, with machete outside a chicken shop
- Marques Walker, 17, stabbed Jermaine Cools, 14, in Croydon, London, in 2021
- Killer had been caught with three terrifying knives in less than two years
The child murderer who butchered a 14-year-old with a machete outside a chicken shop was out on bail at the time of the kill, despite having been caught with three terrifying knives in less than two years.
The capital’s youngest murder victim of 2021 was stabbed to death by Marques Walker, then 16 and on bail for possessing a lethal zombie knife.
Unarmed Jermaine Cools, 14, was stabbed seven times with a machete during a street brawl.
Walker was first caught with a blade in January 2020 when teachers found a 10in Rambo-style knife in his school rucksack.
In April 2021, when he was stopped by police outside a county lines operation in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, Walker pulled a serrated dagger from his waistband and discarded it as he fled.
And in October 2021, Walker was caught with a 20in zombie knife on a bus in Croydon, south London. He was on bail for possessing it when he murdered Jermaine in Croydon on November 18, 2021.
Marques Walker, 17, has been jailed for a minimum of 19 years for stabbing Jermaine Cools, 14, to death outside a chicken shop in Croydon, London, in 2021
Jermaine was stabbed seven times as he lay on the ground. At the age of 14 he was the youngest victim of fatal knife crime in 2021
Walker was first caught with a blade in January 2020 when teachers found a 10in Rambo-style knife (pictured) in his school rucksack
In April 2021, when he was stopped by police outside a county lines operation in Welwyn Garden City, Herts, Walker pulled a serrated dagger (pictured) from his waistband and discarded it as he fled from officers
And in October 2021, six weeks before Jermaine’s murder, Walker was caught on a bus in Croydon, south London, with a 20in zombie knife (pictured)
The Old Bailey heard that the remorseless killer had written a rap song about Jermaine’s murder which contained the lyrics: ‘Even if that youth was a civilian I would still rewind and chef up (stab) his back.
‘We had mummzy grieving. I left mandem spleeching [bleeding]. I had mandem looking at his wounds like s*** den I think I’m bleeding.’
In harrowing CCTV footage played in court, Jermaine was seen being knocked to the ground during a brawl with a group of other young men.
Walker pulled a machete from his jacket pocket, strode towards Jermaine and stabbed him seven times as the teenager rolled back and forth on the pavement desperately trying to protect himself.
A post-mortem later revealed the deepest wound in Jermaine’s torso was seven inches deep.
Walker fled from the scene and ran home, using his tablet device to make an internet search for ‘Croydon stabbing today,’ before leaving the family home and going to ground for six weeks.
The brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy (right, red arrow) by Marques Walker, 17, (left, blue arrow) was caught on film on November 18, 2021
This is the shocking moment a cannabis-smoking child killer (pictured) stabbed an unarmed boy with a machete outside a chicken shop before running away
Walker was seen stabbing the child repeatedly with a machete in the ‘ferocious’ attack
The victim was helped into a car and driven to Croydon Hospital, where he died of his injuries
He was eventually found by police who were searching a friend’s house in relation to another matter.
He later pleaded guilty to Jermaine’s murder, possessing a knife and causing grievous bodily harm to a fellow inmate while in youth detention after the killing.
Walker, who was known to smuggle drugs across county lines, was jailed for life yesterday, with a minimum term of 19 years.
The now 17-year-old became the first youth to be sentenced on television. An application by the Press, including the Daily Mail, lead to the judge lifting the anonymity typically given to under-18s.
As Walker was sentenced yesterday, Jermaine’s mother Lorraine Dudek slammed the failure to keep the habitual knife-carrier off the streets.
‘It can be anyone’s child,’ a heartbroken Ms Dudek said.
Jermaine’s father, restaurant owner Julius Cools, said he has put a photo of his son on his old bed and cannot leave the house without going into the room to see it.
‘Jermaine was everything to us, a bright light in our world,’ he said.
The perpetrator was seen fleeing the scene of the stabbing, still carrying the machete
In footage released by police, he was seen running down the street past a London bus with the weapon
He was caught again on CCTV as he sprinted past a bush with the blade still in his hand
Moments later, another camera caught him on film, clearly showing the machete-wielding killer
In her victim impact statement, Ms Dudek added: ‘Our family home used to be full of love, laughter and happiness. It is now a house of three people suffering with pain and mental trauma.
‘His bedroom remains untouched and ready for him to come home. But this will never happen.
‘It remains a place we go to sit, to smell his scent and think about happy memories we once had with Jermaine.’
She said releasing Walker on bail following his knife offences had been a missed opportunity and issued an emotional plea to tackle knife crime, insisting ‘it can be anyone’s child’.
‘Had it been addressed earlier he would not have had the opportunity to go out to kill,’ she said.
Jermaine’s parents Lorraine Dudek and Julius Cools were supportive of the sentencing being broadcast
After he was stabbed and was bleeding heavily, a member of the public approached Jermaine and helped him into a car and drove him to Croydon Hospital, where he later died
A post-mortem examination found Jermaine had suffered seven stab wounds to his body, with the fatal wound to his chest piercing a lung. Pictured: The scene after the attack
‘Young males get caught with a knife, the knife gets confiscated. Within an hour they get another one from Snapchat or social media.
‘Stop and search has its place and it’s very, very good for removing weapons but the follow-up has to be there.
‘When Jermaine got stopped and searched I was happy about it. Some parents complain about their children being stopped and searched – that could be the deterrent that stops them.’
Superintendent Richard Vandenbergh, of Scotland Yard, said: ‘Walker was able to obtain knife after knife. Anyone seeing the pictures of those weapons police seized from him in the months leading up to the killing of Jermaine should be concerned that weapons like this seem so readily available to young men.’
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