Murdered girl was a pupil at fee-paying Old Palace School

Old Palace School has confirmed that the 15-year-old girl stabbed and killed in the town centre this morning was one of their pupils.

Tragic aftermath: a police detective gathering evidence at the scene of the schoolgirl’s murder

The incident adds tragedy to what has been a traumatic week for the fee-paying, independent school, which was told last Thursday that it faces closure.

According to eyewitness reports from those at the scene of the attack on Wellesley Road at around 8.30 this morning, the girl, dressed in her school’s green blazer, had just got off a No60 bus with a group of friends when the attack happened, her assailant using a large bladed weapon which one described as “like a sword”.

The Metropolitan Police have arrested a 17-year-old male in New Addington who they said was known to the victim.

Eyewitnesses have been reported as seeing a row between the girl and boy on the busy street after they had got off the bus. They are reported as saying that the girl had rejected flowers from the boy moments before he stabbed her in the neck.

Crime scene: aerial shots of the Whitgift Centre bus stop on Wellesley Road show the police’s crime incident tent

While most fled the scene in horror, the bus driver and a passenger battled to save the girl’s life. Despite urgent attention from emergency services, she died at the scene less than an hour later.

At lunchtime, a spokesperson for Old Palace of John Whitgift School, which is less than a mile from the scene of the murder, confirmed that the as yet unnamed girl was a pupil.

“We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil,” they said.

“It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news, and we will offer support to our pupils as we try to do so.

“Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time.”

In a letter from the school’s senior deputy head to parents and carers, the school said, “We shall be providing further resources to support the school community… Once we have announced this to the girls, we shall be giving them time to grieve and it might be appropriate for some girls to go home.”

The murder victim is the 16th teenager to be murdered in London this year, 13 of whom were stabbed.

The borough’s politicians, from policing minister Chris Philp, constituency MP Sarah Jones to Mayor Jason Perry, who have all singularly failed to reduce the crisis of knife crime, in particular youth knife crime in Croydon, all issued the usual, trite-sounding platitudes.

Borough Commander: Ch Supt Andy Brittain

Croydon’s police Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain, said: “Our immediate thoughts are with this young girl’s family who are facing the most tragic of news. Our officers are with the girl’s family to support them.”

Brittain said that the community “are clearly as concerned as we are about this tragic incident”.

“A crime scene will be in place for some time, and I am grateful for the cooperation of residents.”

  • Anyone who witnessed the attack or has information that can help officers is asked to call police via 101 quoting reference CAD 1601/27Sep. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

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5 Responses to Murdered girl was a pupil at fee-paying Old Palace School

  1. Diana Pinnell says:

    What a tragic waste of a young life. My sincere condolences to this poor girl’s family and friends. What on earth makes a young person carry a lethal knife with him, let alone use it? A bereaved parent’s reaction is to ask “Why?” and there is so rarely any answer to this question. Such a sad day.

  2. Marc Craig says:

    I walked past the police cordon yesterday on my way to East Croydon Station and when I looked down Wellesley Road and saw the bus surrounded by emergency vehicles my mind immediately assumed it was a stabbing. My heart sank when I read the news on my phone on the train to Central London which confirmed what I had thought.

    The bus driver and passenger who tried to save the girl’s life, my appreciation for their efforts along with all the emergency services involved in dealing with the situation. I must have been incredibly difficult. Also my thoughts to those who witnessed the incident. Mainly thought my heart goes out to the girl’s family and friends (and her school). Words seem so futile sometimes.

    I am sat in my kitchen this morning wondering how people are. I feel immensely sad, frustrated, and confused with the word “why” on a loop. I love Croydon, despite its flaws, but what happened yesterday is a seismic shock on so many levels.

  3. Ruth Simpson Isaiah says:

    It’s Croydon council who are also responsible for the rise in knife crime against children in the area. My son has almost been stabbed multiple times in croydon, the police, social workers and Sarah jones have all tried to support me and my family moving out of Croydon and Croydon housing have blocked the move repeatedly (which is crazy because I would have to give up my tenancy for another borough to be allowed to help us and I have tried this multiple times). Croydon council are stopping families from getting the support they need.

    • Mike Edwards says:

      Croydon is a cesspit and lawless in 2032, And in recent years it has got progressively worse, and also now also full of aggression and addicts, alcoholics and street beggars etc. Croydon Council is also corrupt who had always put money every single time before public safety at any cost, When Croydon Council went bankrupt – Not one Councillor was held accountable convicted or imprisoned for the negligent and criminal loss of public money, Ironically the council taxes had a heavy increase to compensate their criminality of the council officials at the cost of its local residents, And finally what happened to this young 15 year old girl, I put the blame directly on Croydon Council and The Police in Croydon for their complete failure which has cost another life. So much also for the luxury apartments with insufficient Parking for its new residents? Finally the local borough commander is about as accessable to the public as the invisible man.

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