Advertisement

Renell Charles: Teen convicted of murdering schoolboy in horror Walthamstow bus stop chase

A teenager has been convicted of murder after stabbing a 16-year-old to death near his school in broad daylight.

Renell Charles, 16, was fatally stabbed after being chased while waiting at a bus stop in Walthamstow, east London.

The 17-year-old assailant, who cannot be named, is set to serve time behind bars after he was found to have committed the crime at around 4.30pm on May 5 on Markhouse Road.

The offender jumped out of a taxi when seeing Renell waiting and the two had a verbal altercation, after which the victim attempted to run away.

But the offender managed to catch the victim and stabbed him twice outside a bike shop opposite a local school – the second time as Renell lay defenceless on the ground.

A picture of the scene on Markhouse Road (William Mata)
A picture of the scene on Markhouse Road (William Mata)

As the defendant ran from the scene Renell got up, but collapsed nearby. Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and provided medical assistance, but Renell died a short time later.

The tragic events devastated the local community and vigils were held at the area in the weeks that followed.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy said: “I'm absolutely devastated to share with you that there has been a murder tonight on Markhouse Road of a teenager.”

Afterwards, she said to Rishi Sunak: “Children are terrified to go to school. Their parents are frightened to let them and the teachers are at their wits’ end.

“They’ve asked me to come here today to beg you to make the epidemic of youth crime in our country a national priority.”

Renell Charles's Instagram page (Instagram)
Renell Charles's Instagram page (Instagram)

Following the incident, the defendant took deliberate steps to try and evade capture, immediately changing his clothes and swapping SIM cards.

On the night of the murder instead of returning to his home in Newham, he stayed in Clapton, so when detectives turned up at his house on May 6 he wasn't there.

Then, in the early hours of May 8 he attended Forest Gate police station claiming to be confused as to why police had attended his address days earlier. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and charged later that day.

After initially providing a “no comment” interview, he later claimed that he was in fear of the victim and had simply acted in self-defence.

He will be sentenced on March 14.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers said: “My thoughts today are with Renell’s family and loved ones. Nothing will ease their pain, but I hope it is of some comfort to them that his killer has been brought to justice. The defendant – just a child himself - subjected Renell to a brutal attack over a minor dispute on a busy road in view of countless witnesses.

"This is yet another example of a willingness by some to carry and use knives to resolve issues with seemingly no care or thought for the consequences. Such senseless acts of violence will never cease to shock us all, and in this case made all the more tragic given Renell was so young.

"The defendant’s attempt to justify his actions as an act of self-defence were contradicted by both CCTV and witnesses, both of which confirmed that he chased Renell before stabbing him. I thank the jury for rightly seeing through his lies.”