Schoolboy jailed for life for stabbing 16-year-old boy to death

Schoolboy, 18, is jailed for life for stabbing 16-year-old boy to death as he tried to break up a fight between two women

  • Stefan Draca, 18, murdered Rayon Pennycook, 16, in Corby, Northamptonshire 
  • Draca, who was 17 at the time, stabbed the schoolboy once in the  chest 
  • Rayon’s family said they ‘miss his presence, his smile, his silly laugh, his big hugs’
  • A ‘respectable, quiet and polite’ schoolboy has been jailed for life after he stabbed a 16-year-old schoolboy to death in an unprovoked attack.

    Stefan Draca, 18, knifed Rayon Pennycook, 16, as he tried to break-up a fight between two girls outside a house in Corby, Northamptonshire, on May 25 last year.

    Rayon suffered a single stab wound to the chest and despite the efforts of medics he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    After stabbing Rayon, Draca, who was 17 at the time, fled on foot and changed his clothes at a nearby gym before going home and confessing to his father what he had done.

    Stefan Draca, 18, (pictured) was jailed for life for  stabbing a 16-year-old schoolboy to death

    Stefan Draca, 18, (pictured) was jailed for life for  stabbing a 16-year-old schoolboy to death

    Rayon Pennycook, 16, (pictured) had tried to break-up a fight between two girls outside a house in Corby, Northamptonshire, on May 25 last year but was killed by Draca. Rayon's family said they miss 'his presence, his smile, his silly laugh, his big hugs'

    Rayon Pennycook, 16, (pictured) had tried to break-up a fight between two girls outside a house in Corby, Northamptonshire, on May 25 last year but was killed by Draca. Rayon’s family said they miss ‘his presence, his smile, his silly laugh, his big hugs’

    Draca, of Corby denied murder and possession of a bladed article.

    The teen was found guilty after a trial at Northampton Crown Court and was jailed on Friday for a minimum of 15 years.

    Sentencing him, Judge David Herbert said: ‘You went to Reynolds Road for confrontation and were prepared for violence.

    ‘You used the knife you took to the scene and stabbed Rayon Pennycook in the chest.

    ‘This case highlights the dangers caused by young people prepared to carry knives in public.’

    The court heard Draca came to the scene to defend a girl who was fighting in a garden with a girl close to Rayon, who had been in the house next door. 

    Police forensic officers at the scene of the murder of Rayon on the Hazel Leys estate in Corby

    Police forensic officers at the scene of the murder of Rayon on the Hazel Leys estate in Corby

    As the boys in the group began to retreat, Draca walked towards Rayon and stabbed him in the chest, severing the main vein to his heart.

    Rayon, who was about to start an apprenticeship in construction, died at the scene despite the efforts of his friends, police officers and paramedics to save his life.

    Draca then dumped the knife, which has never been recovered.

    Draca stabbed Rayon in the chest, severing the main vein to his heart, which proved fatal

    Draca stabbed Rayon in the chest, severing the main vein to his heart, which proved fatal

    The court heard Draca had no criminal convictions before the night of the murder and had no history of carrying knives.

    His former headteacher even described him as a ‘respectable, quiet and polite young man’ who had showed no signs of worrying behaviour.

    When he returned home he confessed what he had done to his father who drove him to Weekley Woods Justice Centre in Kettering where he handed himself in to police.

    Following the trial, Rayon’s family said: ‘Losing Rayon has left us devastated and heartbroken.

    ‘He was a son, brother to eight siblings, an uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend and is missed in so many ways by so many people.

    Rayon's family said: 'Rayon was jovial, very enthusiastic, kind, loving and very family-oriented. He was a people person. Everyone he came into contact with loved him'

    Rayon’s family said: ‘Rayon was jovial, very enthusiastic, kind, loving and very family-oriented. He was a people person. Everyone he came into contact with loved him’

    ‘Rayon was jovial, very enthusiastic, kind, loving and very family-oriented. He was a people person. Everyone he came into contact with loved him.

    ‘We miss his presence, his smile, his silly laugh, his big hugs. His siblings, niece and nephew and cousins miss talking to him and playing video games.

    ‘We miss everything about him, it can’t be put into words.’

    Detective Inspector Pete Long, of Northamptonshire Police, said: ‘From the outset, this case has been one of utter tragedy.

    ‘A talented, promising and much-loved young man has lost his life, and another now faces a significant jail term and the loss of his future prospects, as well as having to live with what he has done forever.’

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