Mother’s tears for 14-year-old murdered ‘in cold blood’8 min read

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Jayden Moodie poses for a picture on his moped (left).

Jayden Moodie poses for a picture on his moped (left).

Jayden Moodie poses for a picture on his moped (left).

Masked and making a gun sign astride his moped, this is the 14-year-old boy knifed to death in the street.

In other pictures, Jayden Moodie holds a fistful of £50 and £20 notes.

The teenager described himself as a ‘trapper boy’ on social media – street slang for a drug courier – while it was claimed he was a known dealer and regularly carried a knife.

But as the images of the murdered youngster emerged yesterday, his family insist he had no connection with drug gangs. Paying tribute to the ‘loving, caring’ boy, his mother Jada Bailey said her grief was intensified by reports linking his death to violent turf wars.

The family of Jayden Moodie who was murdered in ‘cold blood’ after he was rammed off his moped and stabbed have now said he had ‘no affiliation with gangs’. 

Jayden was rammed off a moped, then repeatedly stabbed on Tuesday 8 January in an area of east London that is said to be blighted by so-called county lines gangs that are known to exploit children.

Stabbing victim Jayden Moodie poses with bundles of cash and confessed to being a 'trapper boy' - slang for a drug runner - and may have been a victim of a feud between gangs, but his family said he had no affiliation with any local gangs

Stabbing victim Jayden Moodie poses with bundles of cash and confessed to being a 'trapper boy' - slang for a drug runner - and may have been a victim of a feud between gangs, but his family said he had no affiliation with any local gangs

Stabbing victim Jayden Moodie poses with bundles of cash and confessed to being a ‘trapper boy’ – slang for a drug runner – and may have been a victim of a feud between gangs, but his family said he had no affiliation with any local gangs

Police continue to investigate why Jayden was singled out in a targeted attack.

He had only moved to the capital last year for a new start away from his former home in Nottingham. 

Mrs Bailey, 44, clung to the arm of her nephew Leon Green as he insisted the teenager had ‘absolutely no affiliation with gangs’ – and warned no child was safe from Britain’s knife epidemic. 

In a statement to reporters on Thursday 10 January, Jayden’s cousin, Leon Green, said he had a keen interest in bikes, loved sports and was due to start at a boxing academy this month.

Rival gangs all over London are fighting turf wars to control drugs and prostitution in their areas with Waltham Forest's among the most bloody

Rival gangs all over London are fighting turf wars to control drugs and prostitution in their areas with Waltham Forest's among the most bloody

Rival gangs all over London are fighting turf wars to control drugs and prostitution in their areas with Waltham Forest’s among the most bloody

As he stood next to Jayden’s crying mother, he complemented Jayden’s character and said his life had been ‘viciously taken away’.

‘His character was infectious and anyone who met him fell in love with his charm.

‘He had a huge heart and would do anything for everyone, especially his family. He will be sincerely missed.

‘Jayden was a 14-year-old minor who had his whole life ahead of him, which should never have been viciously taken from him.’

Addressing reports that the murder may have been gang related, Mr Green said: ‘I would like to stress Jayden had recently moved from Nottingham to London and had absolutely no affiliation with gangs.’

Jayden (left) was an aspiring boxer and had met Anthony Joshua (right)

Jayden (left) was an aspiring boxer and had met Anthony Joshua (right)

Jayden (left) was an aspiring boxer and had met Anthony Joshua (right)

The aspiring boxer had met his hero, Britain’s world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and hoped to emulate his success. 

Mr Green added: ‘Focus needs to be on the fact that he has been brutally murdered in cold blood and deserves a fair chance at justice as much as anyone else in this situation.’

‘If there are people in our streets that are capable of killing a 14-year-old child, then no-one is safe, and they need to be caught and brought to justice.’

Police, who believe the attack was ‘targeted and intent on lethal force from the outset’, have found the car thought to have been used by the three men who carried out the attack. 

Police want to establish how the 14-year-old came to be riding a moped illegally, and have said they are keeping an open mind about why Jayden was attacked.

Witnesses described seeing three men armed with long kitchen knives surround the unconscious boy as he lay on the road and ‘butcher him in silence’. The Mercedes B Class was found dumped half a mile away near territory controlled by the so-called Oliver Close (OC) gang. Jayden lived close to an area run by the OC’s rivals, the Beaumont Crew. The gangs are known to exploit children, recruiting them with promises of drug-dealing cash and then threatening them with violence if they do not comply.

The family of Jayden Moodie address reporters:  His cousin Leon Green (left) mother Jada (centre) and sister (right)

The family of Jayden Moodie address reporters:  His cousin Leon Green (left) mother Jada (centre) and sister (right)

The family of Jayden Moodie address reporters:  His cousin Leon Green (left) mother Jada (centre) and sister (right)

A police source said tensions were high between the two gangland territories, and residents said there had been an escalation in violence. Jayden, the youngest of five children, was born in east London but sent to live with his godmother in Arnold, Nottingham, because of concerns over his behaviour. His uncle Josh Grant said he warned the teenager to ‘behave’ in the capital, adding: ‘The kids down there [in London] are different to kids in Nottingham… He didn’t listen.’

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Family friend Levi Clayton, 27, told The Times: ‘He may have done a bit of petty crime and he got in with the wrong crowd when he moved to London. He was very quiet around his family but more confident and outspoken with his friends. He wanted to be the leader.’ In Leyton, a local man identified only as ‘Zeeks’ said Jayden was known to sell drugs and carry a knife.

He said the teenager was having problems with a Somali gang in the area, which had started as a row over drugs, adding: ‘He was just a small kid but he didn’t go to school and he was running around dealing. He used to always have a big knife in his waist.’

Jayden's mother Jada Bailey (pictured above) was present as the family gave a statement to the press

Jayden's mother Jada Bailey (pictured above) was present as the family gave a statement to the press

Jayden’s mother Jada Bailey (pictured above) was present as the family gave a statement to the press

It may have been the posturing of a teenager desperate to impress his friends, but Jayden certainly appeared to emulate gangland culture on social media, styling himself ‘Little Driller’ on Instagram – ‘drilling’ translates as killing in urban street slang.

Amongst the flowers left at the murder scene, one card said: ‘Remember you used to chat to me about you dying and I would tell you you would be calm.’

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Soole, who is leading the murder probe, said: ‘We are doing everything we can to find out who was responsible for Jayden’s death.’

Jada Bailey (centre) had to be consoled by Leon Green (left) and Jayden's sister (right)

Jada Bailey (centre) had to be consoled by Leon Green (left) and Jayden's sister (right)

Jada Bailey (centre) had to be consoled by Leon Green (left) and Jayden’s sister (right)

Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker has said he could not sleep for thinking about what had happened to such a young boy.

Youth worker Marcellus Baz, who is behind a Nottingham-based youth project called Switch Up, said Jayden and his mother had recently moved to London for a ‘new start’.

Jayden's family have said he was not affiliated with gangs

Jayden's family have said he was not affiliated with gangs

Jayden’s family have said he was not affiliated with gangs

Mr Baz, who said he met the youngster on a street known as a ‘hotspot for antisocial behaviour and knife crime’, told the BBC he ‘seemed like a really respectable, polite young man that had his life mapped out’.

‘He wanted to go down the construction, painting and decorating route,’ he said.

‘He looked like he was going to have a new start in London and do something amazing.’

The teenager was knocked off the moped he was riding by a black Mercedes B Class at around 6.30pm on Tuesday in Bickley Road, Leyton, and then stabbed several times by three attackers as he lay unconscious in the road.

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The car was found on Wednesday in the nearby Carlisle Road area of Leyton, a few hundred metres away, and detectives are treating the discover as a ‘significant development’.

Mr Tucker said it was too early to ascertain a motive or say whether an incident a few streets away from the crime scene on Wednesday when a man was slashed across the face was linked.

He said: ‘The overriding factor is he’s 14 years old.

‘A lot of people are saying ‘young man’ – he’s not. He’s a boy. He’s 14.

‘It’s shocking, it’s an appalling event and this will have affected huge numbers of our young people and we’ve got additional officers in the area, and at schools, to actually reassure people that they are safe in east London.

Jayden's family (pictured above mother and sister) have said he deserves a fair chance at justice

Jayden's family (pictured above mother and sister) have said he deserves a fair chance at justice

Jayden’s family (pictured above mother and sister) have said he deserves a fair chance at justice

‘Whatever the reasons for his death, he was 14 years old and I would urge anyone who has any information to come forward and assist us to catch the people who did this horrific, horrific offence.’

A section 60 order was put in place to allow officers to search anyone in the vicinity of the scene for weapons.

Jayden’s godmother Zoe Grant, who lives in Nottingham, paid tribute to the 14-year-old by saying: ‘He was full of life, fun loving and a ray of sunshine.

The family addressed reporters from Leyton in East London, which is said to have been blighted by county lines gangs

The family addressed reporters from Leyton in East London, which is said to have been blighted by county lines gangs

The family addressed reporters from Leyton in East London, which is said to have been blighted by county lines gangs

‘He was a beautiful boy, so intelligent, had everything to live for.

‘He went to London and then this happens, it’s just so unfair.

‘He was very dearly loved by everybody.

‘Jayden was a good kid. 14 is no life, it’s not fair.’

A family friend, who gave his name as Solomon, said the schoolboy, a talented boxer, was a ‘wonderful’ and ‘loving’ child.

Describing himself as Jayden’s ‘acting grandfather’, he said the system was ‘really letting down the youth’.

‘They don’t come on the streets because they want to, they don’t have a choice,’ he said.

‘They need to be given a chance to breathe like everyone else in the world.’

In 2018, around a fifth (17%) of homicide victims in London were teenagers, most of whom were stabbed.

The youngest were aged 15.

The borough where Jayden died, Waltham Forest, has been blighted by gang crime, with the local authority ploughing £3 million over the next four years into a prevention programme.

Police patrols were stepped up in the wake of the murder.