Some of Bellingham’s most creative minds have produced powerful anti-knife crime artwork after the tragic murder of a teenager shook the community.

Jay Hughes, 15, was killed in Randlesdown Road on November 1 after a single stab wound to the heart.

READ: Bellingham community react to murder of teenager Jai Hughes

Steven Okeya, 26, lives just two minutes away from where Jay was murdered, and remembers coming home from university to see the road closed.

The comic producer told News Shopper: "I have never seen something like that up close. It was something you see on TV. I knew we had to do something.

"The flowers remain on the street to this day."

Steven and his colleague Anthony Aina, from Camberwell, started Penifcent two years ago, and they make comic stories to tackle social problems.

The latest comic, which they hope to release this month, is called Knife Boy.

"We wanted to tackle one of the biggest issues facing young people right now," Steven said.

"With this comic we want to show kids that their actions have consequences. Small decisions that don’t seem dangerous at the time can push you down."

Knife Boy is about a youngster who is chasing his "dream" watch, and steals money from his mum to buy it.

The boy ends up being stabbed when the school bully finds out.

He is then on a mission of revenge, and Steven and Anthony articulate the dire consequences.

Steven said: "Knife crime is rarely random. Most of the time they know each other."

He added: “We want kids to have better role models. They look up to rappers who promote violence, not all rappers, but we want them to stay in school and focus on a sport or a talent where they can make something of their life.

"Our motto is that the pen is mightier than the sword."

The comic makers are currently fundraising to make Knife Boy freely available in schools.

They hope part one will be available to buy from their website this month.

READ: Bellingham street artist's anti-knife crime painting after teenager's murder


Nathan Bowen, 32, lives on the road where Jay was killed and he painted an anti-knife crime mural on the street where the teenager’s life was taken.

He described it as being "so close to home" and he painted his "put down knives, pick up a paint brush" mural to encourage kids to be "creative instead of negative".

Nathan has been doing street art for 10 years and his goal is to transform rundown walls and bring them to life.

The Bellingham community remains "slightly on edge" after the murder, according to Nathan who said lots of parents are concerned for their children's safety.

READ: Bellingham murder: Teenagers join Catford boxing club after plea


After the death, a plea from a Catford boxing club also inspired youngsters in Bellingham to move away from the streets.

Chairman of St Andrew’s Boxing Club, Barry Sandford, said there was an "immediate impact" after the murder and he is now helping troubled youths in the area stay on a more positive path.

A 17-year-old boy from Penge, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested on December 10 on suspicion of murder and charged on December 12.