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17-year-old convicted of murdering schoolboy in bus stop chase

Renell Charles, 16, was a pupil at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Renell Charles, 16, was a pupil at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A teenager who got out of a taxi and chased and stabbed a schoolboy has been convicted of murder, the Metropolitan Police have said.

The 17-year-old, who was 16 at the time of the attack on May 5, was found guilty by a jury at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday of murdering Renell Charles.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, was also found guilty of having possession of a bladed article.

Renell, 16, a pupil at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, east London, was killed shortly after the end of the school day in what police described as a “brutal attack”.

He was sat at a bus stop on busy Markhouse Road with friends at around 4pm when his killer jumped out a taxi.

The police said there was a brief verbal altercation and Renell tried to run away but was chased down and stabbed twice.

They added he was lying defenceless on the ground the second time he was stabbed.

Renell tried to get up but collapsed as his attacker fled the scene. He died a short time later.

His attacker took deliberate steps to try and evade capture, immediately changing his clothes and swapping sim cards, the police said.

The teenager stayed in Clapton after the murder to avoided police who went to his his home in Newham the following day.

In the early hours of May 8, he attended Forest Gate police station claiming to be confused as to why police had visited his house.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder and charged later that day.

At first, the accused told police “no comment” during an interview but later claimed he was in fear of the victim and had acted in self-defence.

After the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers said: “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.”

He added: “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 17 year-old is due to be sentenced at the same court on March 14.