Case: Teen victim of gang rivalry: Jermaine Goupall
Victim
Name:
Jermaine Goupall
Gender:
Male
Date:
2017-08-08
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Name:
Junior Simpson
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Adam Benzahi
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Samuel Oliver-Rowlan
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Saski Haye-Elliot
Gender:
Female
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Teenage Victim, Gang
Case synopsis:

Fifteen year-old Jermaine Goupall was stabbed to death in a gang attack in Thornton Heath on 8 August 2017.

He was with his friends outside a Costcutter shop on Green Lane when a silver Ford Focus pulled up and at least three men wearing balaclavas got out.

Jermaine tried to run away but was stabbed in the leg and collapsed in Georgia Road at around 11pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before midnight. A post-mortem confirmed he died from the wound to his femoral artery.

On 12 August Junior Simpson, 16, (18.1.01) of Northdown Crescent, Croydon, and Saskia Haye-Elliot, 18 (02.04.99) of Northdown Crescent, Croydon, were charged with murder.

Samuel Oliver-Rowland, 17 [27/9/99], of Epsom Road, Croydon, was charged with murder on 14 August and Daniel Luke, 18 (20.05.99) from Donald Road, Croydon was charged on 18 August.

Adam Benzahi, 21 (4.09.96) of Croydon, fled to Algiers after the attack but was arrested on 31 October after returning to the UK and was charged with murder the following day.

They went on trial at the Old Bailey on 9 January 2018. Simpson, Benzahi and Oliver-Rowland were convicted of murder on 14 February 2018. Haye-Elliot was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. Luke was cleared of all charges.

On 15 February Simpson, Benzahi and Oliver-Rowland were all sentenced to life imprisonment. Benzahi must serve at least 22 years before parole, Oliver-Rowland must serve 20 years and Simpson must serve at least 18 years.

Haye-Elliot was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Killers Samuel Oliver-Rowland (left, orange top) and Junior Simpson

The prosecution claimed the victim and his friends were targeted because of a feud between the CR0 gang based in Croydon and the CR7 gang from Thornton Heath. A series of taunting rap videos were posted by the gangs in the lead-up to the ambush.

Detectives said they believed Jermaine was not himself an active gang member.

Prosecutor Mukul Chawla QC said: "The motivation for the attack appears to lie in the fact that each of the defendants is part, or connected with members of the 'CR0' gang.

'The evidence demonstrates that this was a pre-planned attack with knives or similar implements on those that they thought were part of the rival CR7 gang."

The suspects were linked to the attack through CCTV footage, witness evidence and mobile phone analysis which showed them in the area and in contact with each other before and after the attack.

Killers Adam Benzahi and Saskia Haye-Elliot

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: 'These voracious killings with knife crimes need to be stopped. Three youths armed with knives attacked one defenceless 15-year-old.'

He described Oliver-Rowland as the organiser and added: 'The decision to go to Thornton Heath was yours. It was you who sent the texts and organised others to join you and to bring their own knives.”

“When you got to Thornton Heath, there was no violence offered by the alleged CR0 gang members.

“None of them were armed. They were clearly in fear when they saw the car with five people in wearing balaclavas.

“I have no doubt that you went to the area intending to use knives on someone."

The judge told Simpson: "Music I accept was a big part of your life, but also was your chilling addiction to using and handling knives. The still and moving images of you with knives are extraordinary.

"You a very dangerous young man. You were Oliver-Rowland's right-hand man in this attack.

"You wrote lyrics in your phone that predicted the exact type of crime that took place. You suggested they were just for show but I do not believe that and I suspect you were waiting for the right opportunity for an attack."

The judge said he believed Haye-Elliot had been introduced 'to the world of knives and gangs' by her boyfriend, Simpson, and her role in the attack was to give 'encouragement'.

Judge Leonard told Benzahi: 'I have no doubt that when you realised you might be implicated in the stabbing you fled the country at great expense.'

DCI Tony Lynes, who led the investigation, said: "Jermaine and his group of friends were targeted by armed suspects with their faces covered who chased Jermaine and carried out a terrifying, violent attack.

"I can only imagine the fear Jermaine felt as he was attacked. Members of the public rushed to his aid as they tried to stem the bleeding and keep Jermaine calm before the emergency services arrived and continued to administer first aid, but tragically he died from his injuries.

"These four defendants denied involvement, but the weight of evidence against them was enough to convince a jury of their guilt.

"Jermaine's senseless murder appears to have stemmed from gang rivalry and violence, and we now have a family left utterly devastated and the lives of all involved blighted forever.

"I would like to highlight the courage and dignity Jermaine's family have shown since his death and throughout the trial, and I hope the verdict and upcoming sentences will offer them some comfort and help ease their enduring grief as they continue to come to terms with their tragic loss." 

background image for futher actions ‹Back to Map Mailbox: Send us your comments about this item.... we will pick out and publish the best ones: Mailbox@murdermap.co.uk Back to top›
CourtNewsUK Privacy Terms Accessibility Sitemap Bookmark and Share