Jaydon James stabbing: Coventry teenager killed ‘because of his postcode’


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Media captionA candlelit vigil was held for Jaydon

The sister of a teenage boy stabbed to death in a city has said he was targeted “because of his postcode”.

Jaydon James, 16, known as JJ, was wounded in Coventry at about 23:40 GMT on Saturday, and died later in hospital.

Jayda James described her brother as the “sweetest, funniest most kind-hearted boy”.

His grandfather Joe Green said he had lost his life simply because he had gone out to buy some food.

“He wasn’t a fighter,” said Mr Green. “He went out to get something to eat and lost his life within about 500 yards of his house.”

Police said Jaydon, who celebrated his 16th birthday two weeks ago, was attacked while with friends in Deedmore Road, Wood End, a suburb four miles north of the city centre.

His friends were also seriously injured and taken to hospital, although their conditions are not known. No arrests have been made.

‘Waited for help’

Writing on Facebook, Ms James said: “Jaydon was the sweetest, funniest most kind hearted boy.

“He didn’t fight, he wasn’t part of a “gang”, he was friends with everyone and tried to keep the peace whenever he could. Jaydon was stabbed to death because of his postcode, because he was a woodend boy.

“I can’t believe someone took my brother’s life simply because of the neighbourhood he lived in.”

She also thanked the boys who “stuck by Jaydon’s side” and “waited for help to arrive and made sure me and my mum was aware”.

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Deedmore Road was cordoned off near the Moat House and Castle Wood School

Staff at Foxford School and Community Arts College, in Coventry, said Jaydon had been “loyal, caring and his friends knew that they could rely upon him”.

“He was a bright, respectful student with a big personality and a full member of our school community,” head teacher Ruth Williamson said.

“The tragic news of Jaydon’s death has been a shock to all members of the school and Jaydon’s family are at the forefront of our minds.”

At the scene

By Sima Kotecha, BBC News Midlands correspondent

The area of Wood End is to the north of Coventry and has large pockets of deprivation.

Rows of floral tributes line the pavement along the shops where Jaydon often went to get food.

The mood is understandably sombre and as the afternoon sunshine creeps in and reflects off the plastic covering of the bouquets, his former girlfriend Savannah-Jade cries.

She describes him as “wonderful, funny and beautiful”.

Ch Supt Mike O’Hara, from West Midlands Police, said the force would not “fuel conjecture” that Jaydon’s death was gang-related.

He said police were “keeping an open mind” and would “leave no stone unturned”.

“I can’t accept that I’ve had a child murdered in the streets of my city,” he said.

On Sunday night more than 200 people held a candlelit vigil in Jaydon’s memory.

Mr Green called on the community to “pull together” to stop the problem of knife crime.

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Floral tributes were left at the scene

West Midlands Police said it was pursuing a “number of active lines of inquiry”.

Forensic officers have checked drains as well as around bins and vehicles on Deedmore Road.

Searches have also been carried out in the grounds of the nearby St Patrick’s Catholic Church.

West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson tweeted it was a “wretched situation.”

David Jamieson, the West Midlands police and crime commissioner, said it was “heartbreaking” for “someone so young to lose their life in this way”.

South Coventry MP Jim Cunningham said on Facebook there had been a “startling rise in violent crime in Coventry during 2018”.

“Stabbings seem to have particularly grown in number and it’s a sign that the resources and strategies in place to tackle knife crime are not enough.”

Rise in knife crime

There were 284 incidents of knife crime in Coventry up to 12 November this year, according to West Midlands Police.

The West Midlands recorded the highest number of knife offences outside of London, with 65 knife offences per 100,000 population.

In London in 2016/17 there have been 137 offences per 100,000 people. Yorkshire and the Humber recorded figures of 54 per 100,000.



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