Six men have been convicted of murder – almost six years after a teenager was lured to South London park and stabbed to death.
Michael Jonas died from stab wounds to the chest in Betts Park, Bromley, in November 2017.
A group of six teenagers were charged with his murder but the prosecution discontinued the case in 2018 while the police investigation continued.
Victim Michael Jonas
In October 2022, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reinstated the original charges against the six men and they were remanded until trial.
All six were convicted of murder and will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, November 20.
Those found guilty of murder were Nyron Jean Baptiste, 22, from Penge, Divon Henry-Campbell, 23, from Streatham, Jason Smith, 20, from Dartford, Jamie Marshall, 22, from Penge, Ryan Girense Brown, 21, from Croydon and Sarraviho Smith, 23, from Camberwell.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Webb said: “This has been a long and complex investigation but we were determined to keep fighting for justice and we are pleased these men will now be off the streets of London and unable to cause further harm.”
Police were called to Betts Park on November 2, 2017, following a report that a man was injured.
Officers discovered Michael Jonas who was suffering from multiple stab injuries. Despite paramedics’ efforts, he died at the scene.
A post-mortem examination established the cause of death as stab wounds to the chest.
The police investigation revealed that, at around 7pm, Michael had been approached by five of the group as he walked down Anerley Road. The group then walked into the park together.
At 7.12pm, the sixth member of the group John-Baptiste was captured arriving at the scene, with phone analysis showing he’d been called to come by Henry-Campbell.
Three minutes later, by 7.15pm, all the defendants were seen fleeing the park on bicycles. The fatal attack had taken no more than 120 seconds.
The court heard that DNA from bloodstains at the scene was also found to be one billion times more likely to be from Jean-Baptiste than from an unknown or unrelated individual.
None of the group ever admitted responsibility or gave reasons for their action, however the court heard that they had believed Michael was a ‘snitch’ and so carried out their fatal attack.
All six defendants had been arrested and charged by early December 2017. The CPS dropped the case the following year but officers continued gathering evidence meaning the CPS reinstated the charges five years later.
DCI Webb said: “Michael was just 17 when he was fatally stabbed in a violent, pre-planned attack. His family remain devastated by his loss and will never come to terms with what happened that night.”