Six men have been jailed for life after they lured a 17-year-old boy to a park in Penge then stabbed him to death. 

Michael Jonas, 17, was lured to Betts Park then stabbed to death on November 2, 2017.  

After a six year wait for justice, Michael’s killers were jailed today (Tuesday, February 6, 2024).

He had been approached by five of the group as he walked down Anerley Road, before all walking into the park together.  

Just three minutes later, all of the defendants were seen fleeing the park on bicycles.  

The fatal attack had taken no more than 120 seconds.  

Police say none of the group ever admitted responsibility or provided any reason for their actions, however the court heard that they had believed Michael was a ‘snitch’. 

News Shopper: Michael Jonas was killed in Betts Park in Penge Michael Jonas was killed in Betts Park in Penge (Image: Met Police)By early December 2017, all six defendants had been arrested and charged.   

But the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) early the following year.  

In October 2022, the CPS agreed to reinstate the original charges and the men were all found guilty of murder in November 2023. 

Six men were jailed for life: 

• Nyron Jean Baptiste, 22, of Queen Adelaide Road, Penge – life with a minimum of 31 years 

• Divon Henry-Campbell, 23, of Fayland Avenue, Streatham – life with a minimum of 18 years 

• Jason Smith, 20, of Bow Avenue Lane, Dartford – life with a minimum of 12.5 years 

• Jamie Marshall, 22, of Burham Close, Penge – life with a minimum of 13 years 

• Ryan Girense Brown, 21, of Sydenham Road, Croydon – life with a minimum of 12 years 

• Sarraviho Smith, 23, of Grove Hill Road, Camberwell – life with a minimum of 17 years 

Exactly a year after he murdered Michael, Baptiste killed 15-year-old Jay Hughes with a machete outside a chicken shop in Bellingham and yelled “I got one”.  

In August 2019 Baptiste was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve a minimum term of 19 years for Jay’s murder. 

Victim impact statements written by Michael's family were read at the Old Bailey on Monday (February 5). 

'Nobody should have to bury their child'

Michael Jonas Senior, Michael’s dad, said: “Listening to the details in court about how my son was brutally killed will stay with me for the rest of my days.”  

He said he was on the Number 3 bus in Crystal Palace on his way to meet Michael to put up some furniture when he got a call from his daughter.  

She then passed the phone to a police officer, who said: “Mr Jonas, I’m sorry but Michael is no longer with us.”  

“I then had to organise my first funeral, which was for my child,” Mr Jonas said. “Nobody should have to bury their child first. It is my death sentence.” 

Mr Jonas said: “It has been six years since Michael was murdered, and for some years I never thought I would get justice for my son.”  

He told the Old Bailey that during that time he had handed out leaflets and put out appeals to try to get justice. 

Mr Jonas thanked a "brave" witness who came forward and revealed how his son had died.  

'Michael was loved by everyone' 

Michael’s mum said: “The night the police came to tell me my son had been murdered in the park, I passed out. 

“I could not believe this was the same park I had been taking Michael to since he was young, and now he was lying on the floor dead.  

“No words can explain the pain and hurt.”  

She said: “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about him. I miss him so much.  

“Michael was loved by everyone. He was someone who liked to be by himself, he didn’t want anyone to tell him what to do or control him.  

“He was a talented young man with goals and morals.  

“He was taken from us in the cruellest way and I hope we get justice.”  

Michael’s sister said: “I don’t even know where to start. No words can explain how I feel losing my older brother, life is not the same anymore.”  

'They never gave up'

Michael Jonas Senior thanked Detective Constable Becky Pitcher for being by his side throughout the six-year investigation. 

He said: “The murder team detectives worked tirelessly to successfully gain these convictions. Even though the case was complicated and lasted more than six years, they never gave up. 

“My relationship with the police has not always been easy and even at the beginning of the investigation I was wary and distrustful. 

“But from the day Michael died, Becky has been there every step of the way. She has answered our questions, guided us through the court process and most of all reassured us that her team weren’t ever going to give up. 

“She has become part of our family and we will never forget everything she has done for us.” 

DC Pitcher said: “Michael was just 17 when he was fatally stabbed in a violent, pre-planned attack. 

“His family are devastated by his loss but have shown the utmost courage and bravery to keep fighting for justice. They have come to court every day and had to relive what was the most horrendous night of their lives. 

“Their lives will never be the same, but we know how important it is to them that those responsible will now be spending a significant amount of time behind bars.”