Teenager convicted of murder of Rayon Pennycook

0
99

A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of the murder of Corby teen Rayon Pennycook.

Rayon, aged 16, died on the evening of May 25 this year after being stabbed in Reynolds Road.

Following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police’s Major Crime Team, a 17-year-old boy from Corby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with Rayon’s murder and last month went on trial at Northampton Crown Court.

Yesterday, Thursday, December 2, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on a count of murder, and one of possession of a bladed article. Because the defendant is under 18, legal restrictions mean he cannot be identified.

The two-week trial had heard how Rayon was fatally wounded after intervening in a fight between two girls in which the defendant also became involved.

A knife fight ensued between the two boys which resulted in Rayon suffering a single stab wound to the chest, and despite the best efforts of police officers and paramedics, he sadly died at the scene.

After changing his clothes at a nearby gym, the defendant went home and told his father what had happened, before being driven to Weekley Woods Justice Centre in Kettering to hand himself in.

The defendant went on trial charged with murder, an alternative count of manslaughter, and illegal possession of a knife.

Speaking after the jury returned their verdict of guilty of murder, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Pete Long said: “While I welcome this conviction, there can be no winners in a case like this – one young person has tragically lost their life, causing utter devastation to their family and friends, and another faces a significant prison term and having to live with the outcome of their actions forever.

“The circumstances of this case demonstrate just how dangerous it is to carry a knife – Rayon died from a single stab wound which caused catastrophic blood loss. His family have had to listen to the often-distressing facts of the case, including details of the injury which led to his death, and are still deeply grieving their beloved boy.

“Rayon’s family have been incredibly supportive of our investigation and have remained extremely dignified throughout the whole process of bringing the case to court. I have been so impressed by their composure during such a difficult time.

“It’s no exaggeration to say the ripple effects of Rayon’s death are still being felt by all those involved, and the wider Corby community. Our thoughts remain with Rayon’s family and friends at this desperately difficult time.”

The defendant was remanded into custody and will return to court on January 14, 2022, for sentencing.

The grieving family of the Corby teenager have issued a moving tribute to him, describing him as ‘talented, kind and loving’.

Following the trial his family have issued the following statement and image via Northamptonshire Police:

“Losing Rayon has left us devastated and heartbroken. He was a son, brother to eight siblings, an uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend and is missed in so many ways by so many people.

“Rayon was jovial, very enthusiastic, kind, loving and very family-oriented. He was a people person. Everyone he came into contact with loved him.

“We miss his presence, his smile, his silly laugh, his big hugs. His siblings, niece and nephew and cousins miss talking to him and playing video games. We miss everything about him, it can’t be put into words.

“He loved spending time with his niece and nephew. Playing games with his brothers. As a family we went abroad on lots of holidays and he enjoyed seeing new places and cultures. He was the life and soul of our many family gatherings.

“Our favourite memory of Rayon would be on our holiday to St Lucia (his favourite place) and following year Florida, seeing him so happy, all of us swimming in the sea in Rodney Bay and going on those big rides at Universal in Orlando. We had so much fun and made many memories.

“As a child Rayon was very adventurous, he loved exploring, climbing and swimming and playing with his brothers and friends. He was a very talented artist, and loved to draw and paint. He loved sports, was on the basketball team at school and participated in tournaments at home and away. He loved athletics and was fastest runner in the whole school during his primary education. He loved music and was very talented at writing songs.

“We are proud of the fact that Rayon was due to start his apprenticeship in construction. He was a very ambitious and focused young man. He was very confident and had a creative mind, an amazing sense of humour and always showed love and kindness to others.

“Since losing Rayon, our lives have been so different to the future we imagined for our family. We feel his loss in so many ways, missing him every day and feeling a pain that time does not lessen.

“While we have taken great comfort in all the wonderful messages we have received about Rayon, and have loved hearing the memories that others have of him, it can never provide true consolation in our grief. We will miss him always and remember him with love forever.”