Murdered Joshua Boadu had been excited for his first-ever family holiday to Canada, planned for the day after he was stabbed, family members revealed in an emotional statement read at the Old Bailey.
On Monday, a man and a boy were found guilty of murdering the popular 23-year-old – known as SJ – in broad daylight in Bermondsey on June 11 last year.
Denilson Davis, 21 from Hemel Hempstead, and a sixteen-year-old boy who cannot be named, will be sentenced on Monday, September 30 for the ‘senseless’ knife attack.
A motive has never been established for the stabbing, which sadly caused Joshua’s death eleven days later at King’s College Hospital.
“Words cannot begin to describe how life has been since Josh’s passing and he will be forever in our hearts,” said Joshua’s grieving family.
“Words cannot describe how the heartache and emotional anguish this senseless killing has caused and the impact on the family has been astronomical.
“Josh had his whole life ahead of him and he was full of so much untapped potential, but his life was cut short due to a vicious and senseless murder.
“Things will never be the same for us and we have to live with this for the rest of our lives.
“Knowing Josh cannot celebrate another birthday or Christmas brings all the emotion back to us.
“Things that ‘could have been’ are amongst the hardest of things to forget and move forward when you lose a child, brother, uncle and friend like Josh.”
The trial heard how Davis drove to the scene in a Peugeot on Bermondsey’s Linsey Street with the sixteen-year-old as his passenger.
Police inquiries are ongoing to track a third man in the car, 19-year-old Matthew Adebiyi, in connection with the killing. He has reportedly fled to Nigeria.
SJ was seen on CCTV cameras cycling across Linsey Street at 6.11pm, walking back across the road two minutes later, before disappearing from view at 6.14pm.
Just minutes later he had been stabbed and was seen on camera running towards Lucey Way.
At the same time the Peugeot could be seen driving out of Linsey Street and away from the scene.
Witnesses described seeing SJ pushed up against a parked car and being surrounded by three men, all of whom began attacking him.
One then produced a knife and stabbed him. One of the trio was wearing a distinctive blue tracksuit, matching Davis’s clothing at the time.
SJ managed to duck under the arm of one of his attackers before seeking refuge at an address on Lucey Way.
The investigation discovered that both Davis and the youth tried to call Joshua after the attack.
The court also heard that while Joshua later lay in his hospital bed suffering from chest, neck and arm injuries, the youth and Adebiyi were filmed in a ‘celebratory mood’ at around 11.30pm in a Peckham Rye recording studio.
On June 16, on-duty officers spotted the Peugeot on Eastern Road, in Brockley, which parked nearby before the driver got out and ran away.
A Ford Focus was later seen driving up and down the same road – and when stopped, Davis was found to be a passenger.
Although nothing was found on Davis and his driver when searched, police seized the Peugeot – where they found fingerprints belonging to Davis as well as the youth’s DNA.
A bloodstain on the rear passenger seat matched SJ’s DNA, the court heard.
Police also discovered a large hunting knife in the driver’s door pocket along with a Nokia. Davis admitted in court that both items belonged to him.
“SJ was attacked in broad daylight on a Bermondsey estate, succumbing to his injuries several days later,” said Detective Inspector Ian Titterrell.
“We have never been able to establish a motive for this senseless killing.
“A thorough police investigation by my team, not to mention some great work from borough officers who proactively stopped two cars which yielded vital evidence, has led to today’s convictions.
“While of course SJ’s family remain devastated, I hope today’s result brings them some comfort.”
Davis was arrested on September 27 last year at an address in Innes Street, Peckham, and the youth on February 13, 2019.