Teenager found guilty of murdering boy, 16, with zombie knife

A teenager has been found guilty of murdering a 16-year-old boy with a zombie knife at a south London railway station.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, stabbed Louis Johnson to death at East Croydon station on the afternoon of January 27.

He admitted knifing the victim once in the chest, but claimed he acted out of fear he would be stabbed after he was threatened on Snapchat.

The Old Bailey
The Old Bailey

The teenager pleaded guilty to having a knife but denied murder.

He was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury on Friday.

Judge Mark Dennis QC adjourned sentencing to October 16 for reports to be prepared, telling the teenager he must decide the minimum term he will spend at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

The court heard that the teenager, then 16, produced a large zombie knife when he saw Louis on the overbridge at the station shortly after 4.30pm on January 27.

Within a few seconds, the victim had suffered a catastrophic stab wound to the chest and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Giving evidence, the killer admitted that he regularly carried knives, having started at the age of 13 to “look cool”.

He claimed to have had previous run-ins with Louis, who he said had made threats against him on Snapchat.

“I thought he was going to stab me. I put my phone in my pocket. I saw him reaching for his waistband,” he told jurors.

“I pulled out my knife and thrust it towards him.”

The teenager claimed he did not intend to kill Louis but was found guilty of murder by the jury.

Mark Paul, the head of the complex casework unit at West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Louis Johnson for the loss of their son.

“Both the defendant and Louis Johnson were 16 at the time of the offence which shows just how tragic this case is.

“I hope this case sends out a message about the dangers of knife crime. Just carrying a knife in public is illegal and we will prosecute those who commit knife offences to the fullest extent of the law.”