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London stabbings: Murdered 17-year-old boy 'had knife and acted aggressively towards attacker'

Coroner hears Kyall Parnell's killer may not be charged because he acted 'in self defence'

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 10 January 2018 15:48 GMT
Police officers in Tulse Hill, south London, after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death
Police officers in Tulse Hill, south London, after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death (PA)

A 16-year-old boy who stabbed another teenager to death on New Year’s Eve may not be charged with murder because he "acted in self-defence", police have said.

The killing was one of four that swept London in less than 24 hours, sparking intensified calls for action against rising violent crime.

Southwark Coroner’s Court heard that Kyall Parnell, 17, died of a single wound to the heart after being stabbed at around 10.40pm in Tulse Hill.

Investigators said the teenager was himself armed with a knife and had behaved “very aggressively” towards his attacker, chasing him through the south London district.

Detective Inspector Ian Titterrell, from the Metropolitan Police's Homicide and Major Crime Command, told the court Kyall was with a group of friends on a bus when another group including the unnamed 16-year-old boarded.

"As those three males walked up to the top deck where Kyall and his friends were sitting, there was immediately a confrontation,” he added.

"The three males who had just got on at Tulse Hill got off the bus and they were pursued by Kyall and his friends, with two of the males seeking refuge in a convenience store.

Kyall Parnell, 17, was stabbed to death in Tulse Hill on New Year's Eve. (Metropolitan Police)

"Witnesses had seen the chasing group in possession of knives and Kyall is seen in very clear CCTV on the route 68 bus to approach an individual in a very aggressive manner with his hand placed towards his left hip area - there was a suggestion of something glinting.

"A knife was found on Kyall afterwards. The male, fearing for his safety, has stabbed Kyall once in the chest. This stab wound pierced the heart and it's that that led to his death.”

DI Titterrell said that during the confrontation, Kyall’s friends told him to “stab him, finish him off”, which the younger boy claimed caused him to take out a knife from his bag before plunging it into the victim in an attempt to protect himself.

The 16-year-old, who was arrested and bailed, told police he had been stabbed before in attacks involving Kyall, from Thornton Heath in south London.

In November, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick revealed that stabbings had risen by more than 15 per cent in London during 2017.

“We also know that many of the perpetrators of violent crime are also victims of violent crime and vice versa,” she added.

DI Titterrell said the Tulse Hill investigation was ongoing but at this stage the Crown Prosecution Service had indicated that it would not charge the attacker with a homicide offence because of the “real issue” of self-defence.

The inquest was opened and adjourned to a date to be fixed.

The killing came amid a spate of unrelated attacks that saw three other young men stabbed to death during London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Meschak Dos Santos Cornelio, was stabbed in Enfield at around 11.30am, 20-year-old Taofeek Lamidi was killed in West Ham and Steve Frank Narvaez-Jara was attacked at a house party in Islington.

The bloodshed brought the number of fatal stabbings in London to 80 in 2017 and was followed by more killings in the first days of this year.

On 3 January, a 44-year-old Romanian woman, was found with fatal injuries in a street in Ilford.

A murder investigation has been launched in Chislehurst after an 18-year-old man was assaulted on Tuesday night and died of his injuries.

On Saturday, a shop assistant suffered deadly head injuries after being punched to the ground by a group of teenage boys angered because he would not sell them cigarette papers.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with the murder of 49-year-old Vijay Patel in Mill Hill.

He appeared at Willesden Magistrates' Court on Wednesday and is due to next appear at the Old Bailey on 12 January.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information from potential witnesses and have released CCTV images of two other teenage boys they want to trace in relation to the attack.

Additional reporting by PA

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