He had declined his mum’s offer to pick him up after school, but if he had an inkling of the tragedy ahead, perhaps Baptista Adjei would have gone with his mum’s plan.
Adjei, originally from Ghana, but based in North Woolwich aged 15 died of knife wounds on Thursday, October 10. According to police, someone or a group stabbed him and his companion outside McDonald’s in Stratford Broadway.
A 15-year-old boy handed himself in on Saturday over the crime, according to the East London police. He has subsequently been charged with murder and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm with intent.
Adjei, who almost always wore a smile, had planned to grab a bite at McDonald’s before heading home, telling his mum on phone, he would be with her soon, but instead was dead in 20 minutes despite valiant efforts of his friends, the public and the medical team around.
Police reckon the rising football star was either attacked while on the bus or shortly after he alighted. His 15-year-old school friend remains with non-life-threatening injuries in the hospital.
According to various accounts, the Catholic Boys’ School student was good with football even having trials with League One team Ipswich Town.
No parent wants the ignominious fate of burying their young, especially wards in the morning of their lives. With such a fate, Baptista’s mum Josephine is said to be distraught repeatedly saying she should have gone to pick him up from school despite his protestation.
Sister and aunt to the fallen teen, Aretha Adjei informed the Evening Standard: “…(She) keeps saying how she should have gone and picked him up. His mother is not coping well. She only has two children. You can’t imagine her pain. He was a fun-loving boy, very popular with everyone in church, everyone in the street knew him. He would come and put his arms around you. He would always make you laugh. No one could say a bad word about him; he would never join a gang or a group. That’s not him.”
Adjei’s death has also incurred the wrath of the black community in the UK as they press home the need for improved security.
Hours after Adjei’s death, another knife crime claimed another life prompting London Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare: “I am utterly devastated to hear that two teenagers have been killed on our streets. Knife crime is stealing the futures of our young people and it is devastating our communities. It has to stop.”
There is a knife plague ravaging London with devastating consequences. As of September 29, there have been 110 violent deaths in the capital.
Twenty-one teens have been killed in the capital this year with 19 fatally stabbed. People are being knifed for their jewellery, watches, during simple quarrels with some as young as 13. Even pregnant women and nursing mothers are not spared on the street or at home.
The sun.co.uk reports that one of the reasons why violence in the capital has spread is because of the brutal “county lines trade” where urban dealers force children and other vulnerable people to take drugs to customers in more rural areas.
The National Crime Agency estimate there are more than 1,000 “county lines” in operation – a 40 per cent rise in just one year – raking in an estimated £1.8 billion annual profit. Each county lines route making as much as £5,000 a day – £7 million between them all.