Murderer given 28 years for ‘barbaric’ killing of Shirley teen

The “barbaric” killers of Croydon teenager Camron Smith were yesterday handed lengthy sentences by a judge at the Old Bailey.

Murderer: Romain LaPierre, sentenced to 28 years

Smith, 16, was unarmed and in his underwear when subjected to a “frenzied” attack, stabbed a total of eight times, including with a zombie knife, in front of his mother in their own home on Bracken Avenue on the Shrublands estate in Shirley on a night of a Croydon crime wave on June 30-July 1 in 2021.

Ring-leader Romain LaPierre, 20, received a life sentence, with a minimum term of 28 years, for the murder.

Jordan Tcheuko, 19, of Wembley, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 15 years.

A third member of the same gang of drug-dealers who operated in Thornton Heath, Sako Amoniba-Burnley, 21, from Norbury, was found guilty of robbery and jailed for seven years.

LaPierre is to serve a concurrent nine-year sentence for robbery.

Killer: Jordan Tcheuko was found guilty of manslaughter

Sentencing, Judge Michael Kay KC told the Old Bailey: “This is yet another harrowing and depressing tale of gang-related violence culminating in the barbaric killing of a young man.”

He said Smith’s mother had “desperately tried to ward off the attack”. The judge said, “In giving evidence, she told the court she was begging the attackers to kill her rather than her son.”

Smith’s mother had been left “broken-hearted” by the loss of her only child and could not now face returning to their home, the judge added.

Jailing LaPierre for life, Judge Kay told him: “You are a brutal and callous killer and I anticipate you will remain an extremely dangerous person for many years.”

Tcheuko had been “side by side” with LaPierre, kicking down the front door, chasing Camron upstairs and forcing the bedroom door, the judge said.

His jail sentence reflected the “gruesome and terrible circumstances”, the judge said.

The court heard how LaPierre had previous convictions for carrying knives, including a Samurai sword, machete and hunting knife.

Tcheuko had previously been caught with kitchen knives and had joined a gang at the age of 13 after witnessing the stabbing of a close friend at the age of 10.

Murdered: Camron Smith

The court heard Tcheuko had expressed remorse for his involvement in the killing, saying: “Camron did not deserve what happened to him.”

During the trial, the prosecutor told jurors the pair had set out on a moped and in a hijacked mini-cab to track down those they had linked to the stabbing of an associate.

After entering two other addresses, they stormed into Camron’s home and chased him into his mother’s bedroom, the court heard.

Ringleader LaPierre had thrust a zombie knife into Camron’s stomach, the court was told. The killers were in the house for less than three minutes as they carried out their “revenge” attack.

The judge praised the “admirable” conduct of LaPierre’s father who went to police after his son confessed to him.

The police investigation remains open because some of those involved in the attack remain at large, having fled the country in the days immediately following.


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6 Responses to Murderer given 28 years for ‘barbaric’ killing of Shirley teen

  1. moyagordon says:

    So sad to hear these young peoples’ lives are wrecked. It keeps happening, young people killing one another in gang related issues. You wonder what can be done to help stop these things from happening. I don’t understand all the issues that are pushing young people into the gang lifestyle, but I’m guessing it’s a lack of opportunity to experience the good things in life, like travel, culture, top class education. I’m guessing the drugs business could be an element, where young people see a way to make lots of money where they can’t see other ways to do that. I think we should legalise drugs and tax them, and use the income to educate young people about the dangers of drugs, it would take away the mystic of drugs and stop the violence associated with the illegal drugs trade. The tax income could be used to give young people in deprived areas more opportunities to better their lives.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      My heart goes out to Camron and his Mother – especially his Mother. But it also goes out to the Parents of those involved.

      Romaine LaPierres father made a very difficult decision for a father to make but it was the right one.

      Some will always blame the parents, as it is easy. It is also many times what some in authority like. Better to justify societal failures of their policies and the direct and indirect impacts on people that end in crime and death or serious injury on the parents despite them being set up to fail.

      You may find part of the answer you are looking for, at Fishers Folly and the House of Commons.

      Poor services, unemployment, unresponsive Council and enforcement, vast swathes of people cut off and unable to access services. Many children and adults including vulnerable elderly and disabled unable to access Mandatory and Statutory Services for over a decade.

      What we are experiencing may be the impacts and failures of policies that go back over 15 years. Have they in Croydon created the ”perfectly legal development” of Crime unhindered.?

      The answer to that lies in the crime figures and the number of unsolved and unattended crimes and high end cars being driven by those with no visible means of support and the daily lack of both civil and criminal law enforcement.

      • Kaeltoyoda says:

        Thanks Ian
        It was a very hard decision to make. As a consequence none of my family talk to me and I feel like I’ve lost two of my kids. But driving the decision was the brutality of the incident. And also it happened in front of his mother. I had a hard time looking her in the eye. Essentially this could of been prevented by good parenting. Unfortunately I was never allowed to parent Romain

        • IBIRONKE JOHN says:

          You did the right and brave thing to report your son to the Police, what else should should have done . In these circumstances?
          This murder is a hear felt tragedy for all , especially the Mother to Cameron- the vicious and brutal killing of her son in her bedroom, while she begged them, he was trying to save his life and hers . In fact the whole of Croydon is affected , that’s boys blood still calm for justice and a solution.The community of people feel this pain.
          I am if the view it’s a collective community approach to end this madness . Training , alertness and awareness incentives. More 24 hour residential Centres- that help young males look at their child hood trauma- the rippling effects , parenting, identity , culture norms , family mediation and the role of faith in helping the conscious thoughts. Legalising drugs is not an option, it will escalate root issues of fear, rejection, anger and mental I’ll health .
          La Pierre was not born a murderer – I think that while a young child he would have dreams to be something great .
          Let’s get involved and see how we can prevent and lower this kind of community tragedy
          I look forward to your comments

      • We’ve all failed. But too easy to blame Croydon’s governance – that’s dodging the real issues laid out elsewhere in this piece and comments..

  2. Kevin Croucher says:

    This is all an absolute tragedy for everyone involved. I really can’t see any way out of this, what can all these people do other than be gang members? It is difficult to imagine any employer giving them any job in the normal economy, never mind one that would pay anything like they get from drug dealing.

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