It has been 277 days since Jay Hughes was randomly stabbed in the heart while waiting for a friend outside Morleys chicken shop in Bellingham.

Jay could not be saved and a teenager, 18, has now been given a life sentence for the killing.

November 2, 2018 

Boy, 15, murdered with 'machete in row outside chicken shop' in Bellingham

Police confirmed the tragic news that a 15-year-old boy had been fatally stabbed on Randlesdown Road the evening before (November 1).

Reporters gathered at the scene and spoke to a witness, Thomas Coffie, 23, who saw Jay falling to the floor.

He said: "He fell on the floor, I couldn't stop him falling - I tried to put some pressure on the wounds just to keep him alive until the ambulance arrived.

"I was just holding him, I couldn't see because of all the blood.”

Tributes began to be left with Jay being described as a "sweet and caring boy" and "talkative and very respectful".

November 2

‘Mums here are fearing for our children’ – Bellingham community react to murder of teenager

News Shopper’s Liam McInerney arrived on scene to gather some local reaction to the senseless loss of life.

Below are some of the main extracts from people in the area.

News Shopper:

Yelsan Arsan, 45, is the chef at Cosy Cafeteria, said: "It wasn’t always like this.

"People used to fist fight. Now they pick up a knife, it is so dangerous.

"I’m so upset. I have a nine-year-old boy. He goes to Athelney Primary School around the corner and from today he is definitely not walking there on his own."

He added: "Jay was just f***ing 15. Nobody deserves to die like that."

One mum and business owner on nearby Bromley Road added: "It is very dangerous here.

“I have had to disrupt a lot of fights.

"I am heartbroken. As a mum I don’t like this. I really don’t. It has always been dangerous and there are gangs.

"I have a young daughter that age and mums around here are fearing for our children."

November 7

Bellingham murder: Image released of stabbing victim Jay Hughes

News Shopper:

Police released the first image of Jay Hughes hoping someone came forward with information about his death.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Soole said: "I'm hoping the release of Jay's image will help to jog the memory of those in and around the Randlesdown Road area in Bellingham on the night of his murder.”

November 9

Bellingham murder: Teenagers join Catford boxing club after plea

News Shopper:

Back on the day reporter Liam McInerney visited Bellingham we also spoke to the chairman of a Catford boxing club, Barry Sandford, who had decided to reach out to teenagers after the murder.

Barry Sandford, of St Andrews’s BC, told News Shopper: "If they don’t have money, don’t worry, they are more than welcome. Just please come along.

"I can’t promise to stop crime but believe me, we have got kids off the streets and they have turned it all around.

"My message is to ditch the knife and to come and train."

Barry said the club has had an "immediate impact" since offering to help youngsters in any way he could.

He told News Shopper on November 9: "It’s connected. We just want to make an impact in our community and make a difference to these youngsters."

November 22

Bellingham murder: Woman arrested after murder of Jay Hughes

Police made a breakthrough in the case three weeks after Jay’s murder.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested, and Detective Chris Soole said: "My team continues to work around the clock to apprehend those responsible for this callous attack, which cost a young boy his life.”

November 28

Bellingham police 'working tirelessly’ and Morley's 'donates chicken to ease tension' after boy's murder

Police assured a worried community that they were "working tirelessly" to bring Jay’s family some justice.

"We have been stepping up our patrols at this location, as well as providing visible reassurances to local schools, both primary and secondary," a monthly statement read.

The report added how Morley’s had donated a "substantial amount of chicken" after the murder to help "ease some tension felt locally towards them”.

December 11

Bellingham murder: Teenager arrested over Jay Hughes stabbing

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder in what was to be the biggest breakthrough to date.

The arrested woman, 21, was bailed pending further enquiries.

According to a recent police update, the teenage boy was arrested after being recognised on the street and was found with a large hunting knife in the waist of his trousers.

He lives in Penge but on November 23 managed to flee the area when officers visited his home.

Present day / Summary

The arrested teenager, now 18 and named as Nyron Baptiste, was found guilty on July 20.

News Shopper: Nyron Baptiste, 18Nyron Baptiste, 18

He appeared in court this month and was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must service a minimum of 19 years.

The judge stated that she was in no doubt that the "brazen, quick and ruthless attack" was planned and that Nyron had intended to kill the victim.

The court heard how Jay was speaking with a young man he knew when a black Ford Galaxy pulled up to the junction of Brookhowse Road with Randlesdown Road.

Three men, armed with large machete type knives, got out of the car and ran towards Jay and his acquaintance.

However, Jay did not run and CCTV showed him innocently waiting outside the shop.

It was at this point that the defendant approached Jay and proceeded to stab him once in the side of his upper body.

A witness later told police they heard the person who stabbed Jay say, "I got one" and that Jay did not say or do anything to provoke the attack.

After stabbing Jay, the boys ran back towards their getaway vehicle.

The other two armed suspects who had chased, but not caught, the other boy then ran back to the car, which reversed and drove off at speed.

Tribute:

Jay’s mother, Cindy Hughes. in her victim impact statement said: "Jai was my first son and was very special to me.

"I was proud of the young man he was becoming and proud to call him my son.

"I loved his zest for life, his confidence, his positivity, his fantastic sense of humour his constant smile and most of all his kind heart.

"We shared some great times together joking and laughing as he reminded me so much, of myself at his age. He was just a normal teenager but was always respectful, which was a quality he also tried to instil in his younger brothers.

"During the last nine months I have been through, and am still going through a range of emotions – shock, devastation, confusion, anger, denial.

"I am so empty and sad inside it is heart-wrenching. It is like a part of me has died as well."

Police summary:

Speaking on the case, Detective Sergeant Anthony Atkin said: "Jay Hughes was just a 15-year-old boy who was simply buying food and waiting for a friend to spend the evening at a youth club; this could have been anyone’s child that evening.

"What Jay did not know, was that at that moment Nyron Jean-Baptiste had armed himself with a large knife and set out with others intent on violence.

"Nyron indiscriminately stabbed Jay in the chest piercing his heart and then boasted that he had ‘got one’ as he ran back to the car.

"I am at a loss to understand how anyone could carry out such a wickedly despicable act."

"My heart goes out to Jay’s family who are obviously devastated by the loss of their precious young child. I can only hope that the sentenced passed today will help in some small way.

"Lastly I would also like thank those people who came to Jay’s aid and those who came forward and assisted the investigation.

"Many people came to help that night and it is important that when wickedness has been done, the good that lies within a community is not forgotten."