Home London News Walker’s sentencing for murder of boy, 14, to be televised

Walker’s sentencing for murder of boy, 14, to be televised

Marques Walker

Marques Walker, 17, can be identified as the perpetrator of the murder of Jermaine Cools, who at 14 years old was the youngest casualty of a fatal knife-related incident in 2021. The judge lifted reporting restrictions and granted his later sentencing to be televised.

On November 18 2021, 16-year-old Walker stabbed Jermaine in Croydon. Walker had previously been released on bail for carrying a large knife. Earlier this year, he confessed to killing Jermaine and being in possession of a knife.

Before his sentencing, a joint request has been put forward to remove the court order that prevented Walker from being named. Additionally, there was also an application for permission to record the sentencing and air it on news outlets and the internet. Lorraine Dudek and Julius Cools, Jermane’s parents, took part in the legal hearing via video call on Wednesday to discuss the reporting of their son’s case.

Walker’s lawyer attended court and the media was represented by a barrister.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC said: “There is a very strong argument in this case in support of the lifting of reporting restrictions and once it is deemed in the public interest for reporting restrictions to be lifted the hearing may be recorded for broadcast unless there is a reason not to. We bear in mind the defendant would not be filmed.”

She claimed that given the circumstances of the case, the most extensive reporting would be a “very powerful deterrent,” and that Jermaine’s parents were “fully supportive of the widest possible reporting.”

Jermaine Cooks
Jermaine Cooks was 14 at the time //MET

Judge Sarah Munro KC removed the legal barrier to identifying Walker and consented to the recording of his sentencing even though he is a minor.

In her ruling, she said: “Jermaine was the youngest victim of fatal knife crime in 2021.

“The defendant was 16 at the date of the murder. He is 17 now and will be 18 in four months’ time. The reporting restriction would, in any event, lapse upon his attaining 18.

“In this highly fact-specific case I have no hesitation in concluding that the restriction should be lifted and I hereby revoke the S45 order.

“In all the circumstances of this case the welfare of this defendant does not outweigh the public interest in open justice and a reporting restriction is no longer necessary.”

Outlining her reasons, she said: “The serious nature and increasing prevalence of knife crime, knife-related homicide and violent crime…; the consequent need for deterrence; the promotion of public confidence that the criminal justice system is addressing the problem; and the proximity of the defendant’s 18th birthday… all outweigh any minimal impact upon the welfare of defendant.”

She added: “Having decided to revoke the reporting restriction, I will also grant the application for the sentence to be filmed and televised.”

Jermaine sustained fatal injuries on London Road, close to West Croydon station, after a fight involving a few individuals on November 18th 2021. Police had earlier declared that at 6.41pm, a bystander called the police after seeing the altercation outside a chicken shop.

The surveillance camera captured a chilling scene of walker striding towards the altercation, his coat concealing a large knife. It looked as if Jermaine stumbled and while he was on the ground, the young man ran up to him.

Walker was witnessed to charge at Jermaine multiple times with a knife while jermaine was desperately trying to dodge being stabbed. Jermaine eventually got injured by several knife wounds and the accused ran away from the area with the knife.

A bystander came to Jermaine’s aid, who was profusely bleeding, and assisted him into a car which drove him to Croydon hospital, where he ultimately passed away. A post-mortem revealed he had endured seven stab wounds to his body, with the fatal wound to his chest piercing a lung.

A murder inquiry was launched and the suspect was quickly pinpointed from CCTV footage. However, he had left his home and the police spent almost six weeks trying to locate him. On December 27 2021, he was discovered concealing himself behind a bed and gave a false identity to the officers.

It was not until he was on the way to the police station that he eventually divulged his genuine name and was apprehended for murder.

Walker was arrested at the station and accused of killing Jermaine and possessing a weapon forbidden by law. Judge Munro will decide Walker’s punishment at the Old Bailey on May 9.

In July last year, Judge Munro made legal history when she became the first judge to be broadcast as she sentenced a defendant for manslaughter at the Old Bailey following the new law.

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