News Walthamstow

Teen convicted of Renell Charles murder

The 17-year-old jumped out of a taxi to fatally stab Renell Charles outside his Walthamstow school in May last year

Renell Charles,16, was stabbed to death on Markhouse Road in Walthamstow on 5th May last year. Credit: Met Police

A teenager has been convicted of murdering 16-year-old Renell Charles as he waited for a bus outside his Walthamstow school.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named due to his age, stabbed Renell to death outside Kelmscott School on Markhouse Road at around 4pm on Friday, 5th May last year.

In addition to murder, Renell’s killer was also found guilty of possession of a bladed article at a Snaresbrook Crown Court trial on Friday (2nd February). He will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday 14th March.

The attacker had jumped out of a taxi upon seeing Renell sat at a bus stop on Markhouse Road with friends.

According to the Metropolitan Police, there was a brief verbal altercation between the two before Renell attempted to run away. He was chased down the street and then stabbed twice. The attacker stabbed Renell a second time as he lay on the floor defenceless.

Metropolitan Police officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and provided medical assistance, but Renell sadly died a short time later.

In the immediate aftermath of the stabbing, Renell’s murderer took “deliberate steps to try and evade capture”, police said. These included immediately changing his clothes and swapping SIM cards and staying in Clapton rather than returning to his home in Newham on the night of the murder. This meant that when detectives turned up at his house on Saturday 6th May, he wasn’t there.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday 8th May. In the early hours of that morning the teenager had attended Forest Gate police station claiming to be confused as to why police had visited his home.

After initially providing a “no comment” interview, he later claimed that he was in fear of the victim and had simply acted in self-defence, police added in a statement.

As news of the stabbing broke, Kelmscott School headteacher Sam Jones wrote on the school’s website: “This is the darkest of days for the student’s family and the Kelmscott community more broadly.

“Hold those that you love close this evening. I know we will come together as a community and support one another through this. I know your children may be very upset by this news and you’ll be there to support them. Students will also be able to talk to staff in school, and counsellors next week and beyond.”

Reacting to the conviction, detective chief inspector Mark Rogers said: “My thoughts today are with Renell’s family and loved ones. Nothing will ease their pain, but I hope it is of some comfort to them that his killer has been brought to justice. The defendant – just a child himself – subjected Renell to a brutal attack over a minor dispute on a busy road in view of countless witnesses.

“This is yet another example of a willingness by some to carry and use knives to resolve issues with seemingly no care or thought for the consequences. Such senseless acts of violence will never cease to shock us all, and in this case made all the more tragic given Renell was so young.

“The defendant’s attempt to justify his actions as an act of self-defence were contradicted by both CCTV and witnesses, both of which confirmed that he chased Renell before stabbing him. I thank the jury for rightly seeing through his lies.”

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations