Men jailed for ‘barbaric’ killing of boy, 16, who was stabbed in front of his mother in Croydon home

Camron Smith was in his underwear at home when attackers stormed in and killed him in front of his mother. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The killers of a boy who was stabbed to death in front of his mother in their south London home have been jailed for a total of 43 years.

Camron Smith, 16, was unarmed and in his underwear in his home in Croydon on 30 June last year when balaclava-clad attackers broke in and stabbed him eight times with a so-called zombie knife, the Old Bailey was told.

Romain LaPierre, 20, of no fixed abode, who was earlier found guilty of Camron’s murder, was jailed on Friday for life with a minimum term of 28 years.

Jordan Tcheuko, 19, from Wembley, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 15 years.

The court heard Camron ran into his mother's bedroom when the killers, part of a gang calling themselves Ride-Out, attacked him.

Romain LaPierre Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

The attackers had set out on a moped and a minicab car they had hijacked and entered two other addresses in rapid succession in retribution for an earlier stabbing.

Judge Michael Kay KC said: “This is yet another harrowing and depressing tale of gang-related violence culminating in the barbaric killing of a young man.

“The victim was Camron Smith who was aged just 16. He was stabbed to death in his mother’s bedroom while she desperately tried to ward off the attack.

“In giving evidence she told the court she was begging the attackers to kill her rather than her son.”

Jordan Tcheuko Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

He said LaPierre and others had been in a gang involved in drug dealing in the Thornton Heath area of south London.

The judge said the motivation for the attack was revenge for the earlier stabbing of one of their number and Camron was targeted because he was considered a “grass”.

Ringleader LaPierre had thrust a zombie knife into Camron’s stomach during the incident.

Camron’s mother had been left “broken hearted” by the loss of her only child and could not now face returning to their home, the judge said.

He praised the “admirable” conduct of LaPierre’s father who went to police after his son confessed to him.

Jailing LaPierre for life, Judge Kay told him: “You are a brutal and callous killer and I anticipate you will remain an extremely dangerous person for many years.”

Tcheuko had been “side by side” with LaPierre, kicking down the front door, chasing Camron upstairs and forcing the bedroom door, the judge said.

His jail sentence reflected the “gruesome and terrible circumstances”, the judge said.

The court heard how LaPierre had previous convictions for carrying knives, including a Samurai sword, machete and hunting knife.

Tcheuko had previously been caught with kitchen knives and had joined a gang at the age of 13 after witnessing the stabbing of a close friend at the age of 10.

The court heard Tcheuko had expressed remorse for his involvement in the killing, saying: “Camron did not deserve what happened to him.”

University student Sako Amoniba-Burnley, 21, from Norbury, was found guilty of robbery and jailed for seven years.

Murderer LaPierre, 20, was sentenced to nine years concurrent for the robbery of the minicab.

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