Father of boy stabbed to death in Cambridge ‘thought he would be safer there’

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The father of a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Cambridge has said he thought his son would be safer there, after he sent the boy away from north-west London to live with his mother.

Aspiring electrical engineer Jesse Nwokejiobi died at the scene after an attack near Logan’s Meadow, a small reserve next to the River Cam, in the early hours of November 19.

A post-mortem examination recorded that he died from a stab wound to his chest.

Two 16-year-old boys, who were arrested at properties in south London, have been charged with his murder and appeared before Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He said: “Things were happening in that area, I live in Mill Hill, north-west London, things were not really right with a lot of kids, things happening there.

“I said to him, ‘Jesse, go and live with your mum for a while’. That was the last time I saw him.”

He said Jesse had lived with him in London for at least three years before that point.

“Honestly I thought he would be safer in Cambridge,” said Mr Nwokejiobi.

“Cambridge is not known for that kind of stuff, stabbings.”

He said his son would not carry a knife, and that he “had a lot of words with Jesse about knife crime”.

“I’ve told him ‘avoid knife crime’,” said Mr Nwokejiobi.

“I see a lot happen on the news.

“As a child they think they’re invincible. They think they will never die.”

“I always told him, if you’re with your friend and someone tries to attack your friend, just run away or call the police,” he said.

“Getting involved, you could get attacked yourself, or they could have it in for you later. I’ve always told my son about this.”

Asked about the person who stabbed his son, Mr Nwokejiobi said: “I don’t hate him. I can’t, I can’t hate him. Forgive. I’m a Christian.”

He said that “whoever stabbed Jesse is not thinking”, adding: “There’s more education required to make kids understand the dangers of carrying a knife.

“The person who’s done this is probably out there crying, feeling remorse for what he’s done. It’s likely.

“But when he’s tried to stick that knife in or carried that knife he doesn’t think that way.”

He said he learned what happened to his son “from the news”, adding: “I wasn’t happy the way I heard it’”

Paying tribute to Jesse, Mr Nwokejiobi said: “When you see him, it’s hard not to like him. He’s got this infectious smile about him.

Jesse Nwokejiobi murder
Jesse Nwokejiobi (Family handout/PA)

He said Jesse was interested in studying medicine before turning his attention to electrical engineering.

“I think he has a bit of a fear of seeing blood, that’s what he didn’t like, I think that’s why he changed his mind,” said Mr Nwokejiobi.

“But overall, Jesse, what a tragic loss. I’m sure he had so much to offer to the world and his family.”

He said his 6ft 6in-tall son loved playing rugby and singing, adding: “He does rapping as well.”

Jesse was the middle brother of five, he said, with the other four aged 23, 22, 13 and 11.

In a tribute released through police, Jesse’s mother Rita said: “I will miss your smile, calls, hugs, play, music, help, birthdays, prayers, outings, and everything.

“My physical time with you is now over, but your memory will live on in our hearts and you will always be remembered for your love and selflessness.”

The two 16-year-old boys who are charged with Jesse’s murder have been remanded in youth detention and are due to appear at Cambridge Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on Monday.

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