Jermaine Cools: Father of murdered teen dismisses claim 'London is safe' as boy admits attack

'Kids walk on the street with balaclavas covering their face, like ninjas,' Jermaine's dad told ITV News London

The father of a boy fatally stabbed in South London dismissed claims by the Met Police that London is safe and described how he learned to live with the loss of his "innocent baby".

Julius Cools said his teenage son, Jermaine, was "everything we had" and was murdered for "no reason".

On Monday, a teenager admitted fatally attacking the 14-year-old boy in Croydon.

Jermaine was injured on London Road, near West Croydon station in November 2021, after a fight involving a number of people.

He went to hospital but died a short time later.

'Have to deal with it'

"We cannot change what happened, so even though we go through pain, we just have to deal with it and hope god gives us the strength to carry on," Julius Cools told ITV News London. "Jermain was a 'mummy's boy'... they used to do everything together and used to track each other on the phone.

"I feel pain for his mum because I can imagine the pain she is going through even though I am going through a lot of pain myself. "Jermain was the main son, the guidance of the house and that was her best friend. "This guy took our life - he took our son, he took our life, everything we had. There is nothing that can help us go through what we are going through.

"He murdered our innocent baby, just like that for no reason," he added.

Last week, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley described London as a "fantastically safe" city as the force announced a drop in homicide rates last year.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley at a meeting of the National Policing Board Credit: PA

The head of Britain’s biggest police force said the capital is a place to "live, work and enjoy yourself".

But Julius Cools said the comments amounted to little more than "a joke", adding:

"It's [London] the worst city, it cannot be a safe city.

"Kids walk on the street with balaclavas covering their face, like ninjas.

"So there is never going to be change until we make a big change. This is what we have to live with, people walking in the street with their face covered it's a joke."

A boy, now aged 17, was arrested and charged with Jermaine Cool's murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

On Monday, the defendant, who cannot be identified because of his age, appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing. He pleaded guilty to murder, having previously admitted possessing a knife in London Road, Croydon, on the same date. Jermaine’s family sat in Court Two of the Old Bailey on what would have been the first day of the defendant’s trial. Prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC suggested a provisional sentencing date of February 24. The facts of the case were not outlined and the defendant was remanded into custody.

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