Stefan Draca jailed for 15 years for murder of Rayon Pennycook in Corby

Stefan Draca, who murdered Rayon Pennycook
Stefan Draca will serve at least 15 years Credit: Northamptonshire Police

A teenager has been told he will serve a minimum of 15 years in jail for murdering a 16-year-old after they both intervened in a fight.

Stefan Draca - who can now be named for the first time, after he turned 18 - murdered Rayon Pennycook in Corby on 25 May last year.

The pair had stepped into a dispute between two girls and became involved in a knife fight, with Rayon suffering a single stab wound.

Draca was convicted in December of murder and the illegal possession of a knife following a trial at Northampton Crown Court.

Judge David Herbert sentenced Draca, of Landseer Court, Corby, to a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years for murder, with a concurrent three years for the illegal possession of a knife.

Rayon Pennycook was 16 when he died last May Credit: Family handout/Northamptonshire Police

Judge Herbert said to him: “You went to Reynolds Road for confrontation and were prepared for violence. You used the knife you took to the scene and stabbed Rayon Pennycook in the chest. This case highlights the danger of knives.”

Det Insp Pete Long, of Northamptonshire Police, said afterwards: “From the outset, this case has been one of utter tragedy.

"A talented, promising and much-loved young man has lost his life, and another now faces a significant jail term and the loss of his future prospects, as well as having to live with what he has done forever.

“While I welcome [Draca's] sentence, nothing can repair the heartbreak suffered by Rayon’s family. Throughout our investigation they have shown nothing but dignity and strength, all while deeply mourning him.

“They will carry their loss and pain for the rest of their lives, and I hope Stefan Draca uses his time in prison to reflect, atone and learn to make better choices.

“This case shows just how dangerous it is to carry a knife – all it takes is one injury to end a life and ruin countless others forever."

At the time, Rayon's family described his death as "unbearable", saying he was "just a boy – a 16-year-old boy with his whole life ahead of him".

They added: "Rayon is not a statistic and he will not be remembered as such - he was a unique human being with a beating heart who was loved so dearly by his mum, dad, siblings, niece, nephew and friends.

"We are all living through the worst days of our lives and our hearts are utterly broken."

In the days after his death, a vigil was held for Rayon in his home town, with his family saying they were "overwhelmed by the outpouring of support".