A NEW CROSS 18-year-old has been found guilty of murdering Kevin Ssali, 14, in Lee, in a dispute over a woolly hat.

Kevin died after Roree Cox, 18, ran onto his bus brandishing a knife on September 15.

The 202 bus had been travelling down Burnt Ash Road in Lee Green when an argument broke out between Kevin and Cox's 15-year-old brother Chay who sat next to him.

An Old Bailey jury heard a friend of Mr Cox, who had a history of hostility with Kevin and had been travelling on the 261 bus behind, called him to alert him to the dispute.

Prosecutor Sean Larkin told the Old Bailey that Crown Wood College pupil Kevin had "made comments to the 15-year-old boy about his woollen hat and large designer watch".

He said: "While he was outside the 202 the defendant took off his training shoe and took out a knife.

"Two of the 15-year-old boy's friends let him on the bus by opening the emergency exit door.

"Holding a knife he ran up the stairs. Meanwhile Kevin had moved away from the 15-year-old boy towards the stairs.

"As [the defendant] ran up, witnesses heard him shout 'Do you want me to stab you?'

"He ran up the stairs and he stabbed Kevin once. He stabbed him over the barrier at the top of the stairs. The defendant then ran downstairs."

Cox, of Wardalls Grove, had denied the murder but jurors unanimously found him guilty today (January 15).

He is due to be sentenced on February 28.

Detective Inspector John Marriott who led the investigation into Kevin's death said: "I would like to use today's verdict as an opportunity to thank all those people who have been brave enough to talk to us and help piece our investigation together.

"I know that Kevin's family appreciate the part they have played in seeing justice done for him.

"The events that led to Kevin's death started as an exchange between two boys that wasn't violent, or threatening to other people on the bus.

"Roree Cox's actions show a young man who was carrying a knife, and prepared to use it.

"He stabbed Kevin without even considering if his brother was in danger or if Kevin, who was unarmed, could fight back."

CCTV footage

The footage below, released by the Met Police, shows Cox, dressed largely in black with a dark baseball cap, boarding the bus. Cox can be seen taking a knife from his shoe. The footage then cuts to show several people, including Cox, walking upstairs on the bus. As two people walk in front of the camera, Cox has reached up from the stairs and stabbed Kevin, who was on the upper deck, with an overarm motion. Kevin, wearing a short-sleeved white t-shirt can be seen walking towards the stairs and down, putting his hand to the stab wound in his chest as he passes the camera.