Boy, 17, pleads guilty to murdering another 14-year-old child from south London

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A 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the murder of Jermaine Cools in Croydon, south London. Jermaine was just 14 when he was killed in Croydon, south London.

He was injured in London Road near West Croydon railway station after a fight involving a number of people on November 18, 2021.

Jermaine attended hospital, but died a short time later.

A youth, who is now aged 17, was arrested and charged with Jermaine’s murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

The defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age, appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing today (January 9).

He pleaded guilty to murder, having previously admitted possessing a knife in London Road, Croydon, on the same date.

Jermaine’s family sat in Court Two of the Old Bailey on what would have been the first day of the defendant’s trial.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC suggested a provisional sentencing date of February 24.

Well-wishers packed Shiloh Church in Thornton Heath, south London, at Jermaine’s funeral in January last year.

Three of the pall-bearers carrying his coffin were schoolchildren.

After the service, Jermaine’s father Julius said the last few months had been terrible.

He said: “Our son was everything, to be honest. We’ve been living in a lot of pain. We don’t sleep at night. We just wake up and keep asking ourselves why?”

Jermaine’s brother, Scott Reynolds, spoke at the funeral, told mourners as he looked at the coffin: “To me, in life, it’s something I always know, you’re supposed to look after your younger brother and then me being on the stage and looking down on my little brother is something I didn’t want to do.”

A crowdfunder raised over £3,000 towards the cost of Jermaine’s funeral whose family described him as a “beautiful, loving, happy son” on the appeal website.

Last November, a plaque was unveiled near where Jermaine was injured to mark the first anniversary of his death.

He was one of five children fatally stabbed in the London Borough of Croydon in 2021.

At the time, Jermaine’s father told the BBC he wanted justice so his son could rest in peace.