Knife crime police: Be appalled
A SENIOR detective has said “we shouldn’t have to live like this” after a 14-year-old was knocked down and stabbed to death in a targeted attack.
Jayden Moodie was rammed off the moped he was riding illegally through the Leyton area of east London on Tuesday evening, before three men jumped from the car and repeatedly stabbed him as he lay on the ground.
The schoolboy had only recently moved back to the capital after being sent to live in Nottingham in an attempt to keep him away from violence.
He is the 25th teenager to die violently on the streets of the capital since the beginning of 2018 and one of the youngest for several years.
Det Chief Supt Richard Tucker said the age of the victim “beggared belief ” and said he had been unable to sleep thinking about it.
Appealing for witnesses to help catch the killers, he said: “Be shocked, be appalled. We shouldn’t have to live like this. What I would say is, work with us to actually find the answers and the people who have done this.”
Jayden Moodie wanted to be a boxer when he grew up. He’ll never get the chance. On Tuesday, the 14-year-old was riding a moped illegally in a street in east London when a car rammed him and knocked him off. Four men jumped out of the vehicle – a black Mercedes – and began kicking and punching the boy as he lay on the ground. At least one then pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the back up to seven times.
Jayden was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.09pm, less than 40 minutes later. The child, photographed here meeting his idol Anthony Joshua, the world heavyweight boxing champion, had been targeted and assassinated by a rival drugs gang.
Welcome to London in 2019, a city that reckons itself to be the greatest in the world but which increasingly at its margins resembles Bogota, Colombia, at the height of its drug wars.
In the photo with Joshua, Jayden, a promising boxer, appears the sweetest of boys, cherub-faced and camera-shy. Family and friends described him yesterday as a “good-hearted boy”.
But he could be easily led astray, too, and by the age of 14 he appears to have become entranced by gang culture. On his Facebook page, Jayden posted a picture of himself clutching a wad of £50 and £20 notes, describing himself as a “trapper kid”, urban slang for a drug dealer.
Jayden, who was born in London, was brought up by his single mother, Jada, but had recently begun to go off the rails. His father, according to his family, lives in Jamaica. Jayden had been dispatched to Nottingham to live with his godmother after Jada became concerned by his behaviour.
Jayden would split his time between the two cities, but around six months ago, he persuaded his mother to let him return to the capital, telling her he was missing his friends.
At their semi-detached home in the Arnold district of Nottingham last night, Zoe Grant, his godmother, said: “He was full of life, fun loving and a ray of sunshine. He was a beautiful boy, so intelligent and had everything to live for. He went to London and then this happens, it’s just so unfair. I’m so numb. I’m shocked by it all.”
Levi Clayton, 27, Mrs Grant’s son who was close to Jayden during their time in Nottingham, said: “He should never have gone to London, it’s lawless. He didn’t need to go but he made a decision and it’s cost him his life. He couldn’t escape the crowd.”
Jayden, he accepted, had been a bit of a “bad boy”, but the family always hoped it was just a “typical naughty teenage phase” he would grow out of.
Jayden’s sister Leah, 18, yesterday said she was scared her brother would be “remembered as a statistic” in the rising epidemic of knife violence in the capital, but told The Times she did not believe her brother was part of a gang. On Tuesday evening, Jayden had been riding his moped along Bickley Road, Leyton, on the fringes of the site of the 2012 Olympics.
Witnesses watched the Mercedes aim at him and then plough into him. The men pounced and after killing Jayden in the street, got back in the car and drove off. One man, who did not want to be named, described how a witness came into the premises where he worked nearby, clearly horrified.
“They said they knocked him off the moped and four people got out of the car and they stabbed him seven times – there were unsurvivable wounds in his back,” he said.
Jayden might have by then been unconscious. His helmet, likely too big, had fallen off and lay 30ft away.
The man added: “He [the witness] thought it was an accident, that somebody had knocked someone, but then he said they quickly came out of the car. They beat him up, and they stabbed him, and they left.”
Anthony Anderson, 48, a mechanic who works in an alley next to Bickley Road, said he would often give the victim “fatherly advice”.
Speaking outside the garage where he works, he said: “He’s somebody I really spoke to a lot, tried to get him off the street, tried to just get him to go to school … it really, really hit me when I heard last night.”
Police investigating the murder last night insisted that the attack had been “targeted and intent on lethal force from the outset”.
Yesterday afternoon police recovered a car believed to be involved in the incident. The black Mercedes B Class was recovered in the Carlisle Road area of Leyton and remains in situ for forensic recovery. Det Chief Insp Chris Soole said: “We are treating the recovery of the car as a significant development in our enquiries, which are still very much in their early stages.”
An academic study last year by London South Bank University, called “From Postcodes to Profit”, listed 12 gangs operating in Leyton and surrounding areas. The longest established gang, The Beaumont Crew, has 100 members, its youngest aged 12, who, said the academic study, “are increasingly becoming active in street level crime as victims and perpetrators including serious violence (stabbings), weapons carrying, CSE [child sex exploitation] and drug dealing.”
Det Chief Supt Richard Tucker, leading the murder investigation, said he had been unable to sleep for thinking about what had happened to Jayden. He said: “A lot of people are saying ‘young man’ – he’s not. He’s a boy. He’s 14. I think that will strike a chord with so many people and so many parents across the UK.”
In Leyton yesterday, the shock was still reverberating. “I am very scared living here. I want to move. I only live around the corner and I’ve heard of several stabbings recently,” said Sramat Acheamfour, a 23-year-old student. “The gangs are becoming more and more prominent. It never used to be this violent.”
A reporter for The Daily Telegraph, walking yesterday towards the scene of the murder, saw a man being treated for stab wounds in a road two streets away. The man, who appeared to be in his early 30s, had suffered “slash injuries” to his face after being chased by a group of youths.
‘He should never have gone to London, it’s lawless. He didn’t need to go but he made a decision and it’s cost him his life. He couldn’t escape the crowd’
From top: Jayden Moodie, 14, with his boxing idol Anthony Joshua; forensics investigators at the scene of the murder in Leyton; Jayden clutching a wad of £50 and £20 notes in an image posted on Facebook