Man convicted of teenager’s murder

A man has been convicted of murdering 16-year-old Damarie Roye who was fatally stabbed in Thornton Heath in July last year.

Damarie was attacked in broad daylight as he cycled along Bensham Manor Road on the afternoon of July 9.

Byron Whyne, 20, of Grenaby Road, Croydon was arrested in the days after the attack and was later charged with Damarie’s murder.

On Thursday of last week, following a trial at Croydon Crown Court, Whyne was found guilty of murder and possession of a knife.

He was also found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH) in relation to a separate incident that occurred elsewhere in Croydon on August 15, 2020.

Detective Chief Inspector Jo Sidaway, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a completely senseless attack against a young boy who had his whole life ahead of him.

“He was brutally murdered simply because Whyne could not control his jealousy.

“All our thoughts are with Damarie’s family and friends. They have suffered an unimaginable loss and have showed admirable strength and bravery during this trial.

“My team of detectives worked tirelessly to build this case, using witness statements, CCTV and the data from Whyne’s ankle tag. There was no doubt in the end that he was responsible.

“Tragically, as police officers, we still see too many incidents like this where young lives are violently taken on the streets of London. Tackling violent crime remains our number one priority and we will not rest in our mission to place violent offenders before the courts.”

The court heard that Whyne was a man motivated by jealousy. Damarie was friends with a girl with whom Whyne had been in a relationship.

Whyne could not accept the situation and formed a grudge. He was controlling even after the relationship had ended and made threats, including with a knife.

Ultimately, in July last year, he carried out those threats in a brutal attack.

During the trial the court heard how the occupants of a van, who were in Bensham Manor Road on that afternoon, saw a moped driving erratically, mounting the pavement and making sudden turns to go back in pursuit of a boy who they later learned was Damarie.

Damarie ran from the moped and managed to climb into the van with the help of those inside. It was there they discovered he had a significant chest injury. He was rushed to hospital but later died.

Camera footage from another passing vehicle showed the moped, which was being ridden by two people, encircling Damarie before he was attacked. Even after he had been stabbed, they continued to pursue him as he fled.

Other camera footage from nearby houses showed that Whyne, who was the passenger on the moped and the person who carried out the stabbing, had a knife in his hand as the moped raced down the road.

Whyne initially denied being involved at all, but an extensive CCTV search allowed detectives to match him to the clothing being worn by the moped passenger at the time of the murder and to plot the route of the moped from Whyne’s home address to Bensham Manor Road and back again.

The evidence against Whyne was particularly strong. He was on bail for another offence and was wearing an electronic tag which not only registered the times he left his home and arrived back again, but also pinged every time he passed another house with a tagging device monitor installed.

The jury also heard that on the day after the attack, Whyne received a call from his ex-partner where he admitted being responsible for stabbing Damarie.

Whyne will be sentenced on Thursday, April 28 at Croydon Crown Court.

Pictured top: Damarie Roye (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Croydon – South London News