Family of murdered 14-year-old speak out: ‘We forgive them’

The family of 14-year-old Jermaine Cools, who died on Thursday night after being stabbed in a fight near West Croydon Station, has spoken out for the first time since the incident to say that they forgive their son’s killers.

Shrine to loss: family and friends have laid flowers near the spot on London Road where Jermaine Cools was stabbed

Jermaine was the 27th teenager to be murdered on the streets of London in 2021, and the third teen murder victim in Croydon alone this year.

There have been no arrests as yet resulting from the police’s murder investigation.

Julius Cools and his wife, Lorraine Dudek, visited the scene on London Road yesterday to lay flowers on the spot where the fatal incident occurred. Sarah Jones, the MP for Croydon Central, also attended the scene.

“I don’t know what happened,” Lorraine Dudek told the BBC. “I still can’t understand.

“We have to change this, something has to change.

“I know whoever did this obviously didn’t know Jermaine because Jermaine didn’t have any enemies or problems with anybody.

Tragic circumstances: MP Sarah Jones’s tweet after meeting Jermaine Cools’ family

“We need to do whatever as a community we can do to stop this. I don’t want anyone to go through this feeling now, because Jermaine was my life. My home is empty without him.

“Jermaine had a whole family that loved him and I don’t want anyone else to lose their childhood or feel what I feel or go through the pain that I’m going through, that our family are going through. I want this violence to stop. These kids to stop fighting, to stop fighting each other.

“They’re all young men they have to love each other and respect each other.

“Jermaine was always happy, always laughing, always smiling, so maybe they didn’t know what they were doing. In a moment of haste, maybe, they didn’t think but they should come forward and think.

“He was loving, caring. He put everyone before himself and was always with his family. Any member of his family, he was always with them.”

Tears: Julius Cools, the father of Jermaine, at London Road yesterday

The Cools family run a small business on Portland Road in South Norwood.

Yesterday, with a tear in his eye, Julius Cools said: “The people that did this, I forgive them. I’m not the one to give judgement. I’ll leave them in God’s hands. He can deal with them the way he wants to deal with them.

“You’ve taken our angel away.

“All I can say to you is just be honest with yourself and just go to the police. Maybe it was a mistake and them tell you’re sorry.”

And Jermaine’s aunt, Beah Wilson, said, “We’ve forgiven the people who did it. We don’t hate anybody, we are Christians.

“What they did maybe they didn’t think twice, they didn’t think about it. They took Jermaine away. We can’t bring him back but we forgive them. We are a very forgiving family.”

Any witnesses, or anyone with any information, is asked to call the police on 101, quoting reference CAD 6179/18Nov, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Information, including any footage and pictures, can also be provided via

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5 Responses to Family of murdered 14-year-old speak out: ‘We forgive them’

  1. moyagordon says:

    To hear of another teenager being stabbed and killed is desperately sad. This is the 27th murder of a teenager this year in London. Something needs to be done. If there was a serial killer committing the murders a lot of resources would be put in to stopping the killer. Resources need to be put into stopping this needless waste of life. Having a knife amnesty now throughout Croydon to raise awareness would be something.

  2. This dad’s words are humbling and heart-breaking. How did a boy from a loving family with such strong Christian values end up in a street fight? Until we can answer these questions we’re never going to get anywhere.

  3. Dolphin says:

    Condolences to the family and other loved ones. There are probably alot of traumatised young people who may have witnessed what happened too, who will be shocked, sad, frustrated and angry so I hope counselling will be offered ASAP. What can we do to enhance character, values and motives to bring back value of human life. Maybe involve Mainstream, Pupil Refferal, Saturday and Sunday schools, Probation etc in community leadership debates and discussions; we can’t keep talking at or about young people; we have to talk with them.
    Anger, Belittling, Corruption, Drugs, Depression, Demasculinisation, Hatred of Self, Lack of Respect for Life, Lack of will, Laziness, Manipulation, Violence, is everywhere. Time to try bring back the Love.
    It takes a village to raise a child. Where are the intergenerational programmes? How can we counteract the A-Z of challenges that exist which corrupt the Soul; would playing tranquil music in public places help to calm the nerves and ease frustration? Could Art collectives work with the youngers to promote positive words and pictures around the Borough. Schools could run after hours programmes in conjunction with the third sector, and education training providers so that young people are not left wondering the streets because some parents get in long after school is finished. Parks could have regular exercise/sports programmes leading to annual community sports days. Sport it out rather than fight it out.
    We are living in a concrete jungle. I am not sure any more what is going on, but all the collective wages being paid to some staff, and money being given to some ‘projects’ might be better spent giving direct bursaries to parents to afford to do what they think is right for their children which might include cultural trips to their ancestral homeland see where their roots spring from. Maybe then they will go out as boys and girls but come back as men and women.
    Feeling sad is not enough, it is not just parents to do the right thing, everyone in the village has a part to play. Children are in need right here, right now.

  4. Albert Randall says:

    Yes I know the dad, he works on portland Road. My heart goes out to his family, the dad knows me, I’m the one in the red mobility scooter.

    I am very sorry for their loss, god bless his family, take care

  5. Asimba says:

    He was just young and life head off him. Someone must seen something please please don’t keep silence do what’s right.
    We as Black people we need to stop killing each other this needs to stop no mother or father should have to bury the son .

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