Jermaine Cools: Burial held in Croydon for 2021’s youngest stabbing victim in London | UK News

The youngest victim of a fatal stabbing in London last year was assisted on Thursday.

Jermaine Cools was just 14 when he was killed last November in Croydon, south London, in a record year for teenage murders in the capital.

At his funeral, three of the bearers were school children. Seeing them carry a coffin covered in pictures of the teenager was a reminder that this was another life that had been cut too short.

'We have lived in a lot of pain,' says Jermaine's father Julius
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“We have lived in a lot of pain,” says Jermaine’s father Julius

Dozens of benevolent people filled Shiloh Church in Thornton Heath for the teenager’s funeral. The rallies included his friends, family, members of the police force and London’s Deputy Mayor, Sophie Linden.

After the service, Jermaine’s father described Julius for the past few months as “terrible.”

He said, “Our son was everything, to be honest.

“We have lived in a lot of pain, we do not sleep at night, we just wake up and keep asking ourselves why?”

In a year in which 30 young people were killed, including five in Croydon, a borough some people have christened London’s knife crime capital, Julius also had words for young people involved in the violence.

“The knife is not a game, it’s a serious thing,” he added. “It’s not a toy. Take a book, read a bible, sing a song. It’s not a toy thing and [like] many people’s parents, we go through this pain. “

Friends and family remember ‘good boy’

Grieving at the service saw a short video clip filled with pictures of Jermaine before hearing anecdotes from friends and family about someone his sister Amanie simply described as a “good boy”.

Scott Reynolds talked in the service about playing PlayStation games with his brother
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Scott Reynolds talked in the service about playing PlayStation games with his brother

Another of the pallet bearers was his brother Scott Reynolds, who in the service talked about playing PlayStation games with Jermaine, who often bought him peanut fudge bars.

He said he “could not breathe” as he looked down at the coffin while speaking at the pulpit.

“I was not trying to think of him in the coffin, it’s just sad,” Scott said. “For me, in life it’s something I always know, it’s meant for you to take care of your little brother, and then it’s that I’m on stage and looking down on my little brother, something I did not want to.”

'The knife is not a game, it's a serious thing,' says Jermaine's father Julius
Picture:
“Knife is not a game, it’s a serious thing,” says Jermaine’s father Julius

Fighting knife crime will require joint efforts

This was not just a funeral, it was a setback. The assembled community leaders wanted to use the day to signal to the police that fighting knife crime will require a joint effort between themselves, the police and the parents.

But seeing Jermaine’s friend and family mourn was a reminder that the wounds caused by losing a loved one due to knife crime will never completely heal.

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