A ‘respectful, quiet and polite’ schoolboy has been sentenced to life in prison after stabbing a 16-year-old schoolboy to death in an unprovoked assault.
Stefan Draca (18) stabbed Rayon Pennycook (16) with a knife when he tried to end an argument between two girls outside a house in Corby, Northamptonshire, on 25 May last year.
Rayon suffered a single stab wound to the shoulder and, despite the best efforts of medics, was pronounced dead at the scene.
After stabbing Rayon, Draca, who was then 17, fled on foot and changed clothes at a nearby gym before returning home and confessing to his father what he had done.
Stefan Draca, 18, (pictured) sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a 16-year-old schoolboy to death
Rayon Pennycook, 16, (pictured) had attempted to end an argument between two girls outside a home 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, Corby’s denied murder and possession of a magazine article.
The teenager was found guilty after a trial at Northampton Crown Court and was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison on Friday.
Judge David Herbert sentenced him to conviction, saying: ‘You went to Reynolds Road for a showdown and were prepared for violence.
“You used the knife you brought to the scene and stabbed Rayon Pennycook in the chest.
“This case highlights the dangers posed by young people willing to carry knives in public.”
The court heard that Draca came to the scene to defend a girl who was fighting in a yard with a girl near Rayon, who had been in the house next door.
Forensic officers at the scene of Rayon’s murder at the Hazel Leys estate in Corby
As the boys in the group began to retreat, Draca walked over to Rayon and stabbed him in the shoulder, severing the main artery to his heart.
Rayon, who was about to begin an apprenticeship in construction, died on the spot despite the best efforts of his friends, police officers and paramedics to save his life.
Draca then dumped the knife, which was never recovered.
Draca stabbed Rayon in the shoulder and cut the main artery to his heart, which proved fatal
The court heard that Draca had no criminal convictions for the night of the murder and had no history of carrying knives.
His former headmaster even described him as a “respectable, calm and polite young man” who showed no signs of worrying behaviour.
When he returned home, he confessed to what he had done to his father, who took him to the Weekley Woods Justice Center in Kettering, where he turned himself in to the police.
After the trial, Rayon’s family said, “The loss of Rayon has left us devastated and heartbroken.
“He was a son, brother of eight siblings, an uncle, grandson, cousin, cousin and friend and is missed by so many people in so many ways.
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, first cousins and cousins miss talking to him and playing video games.
“We miss everything about him, it’s impossible to put into words.”
Detective Inspector Pete Long, of the Northamptonshire Police, said: ‘From the start, this case was an utter tragedy.
“A talented, promising and beloved young man has lost his life, and another now faces a significant prison sentence and the loss of his future prospects, and also has to live with what he has done forever.”