A teenager from Kennington has been jailed for life after he stabbed another young man to death while he was filming a music video.
Brandon McNeil, 19, will serve a minimum of 24 years for murdering Shane Jerome, 23. He was sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Friday May 27).
McNeil pleaded guilty to murder at the same court in March as well as attempting to cause grievously bodily harm with intent to another man and possession of a bladed article.
The court heard that the killer stabbed Mr Jerome to death on July 21 last year, while the victim was filming a music video in Brixton on his motorbike. Mr Jerome was in demand for these videos because he owned a distinctive Yamaha MT07 motorbike.
Mr Jerome was to drive around Brixton market on his motorbike alongside other flashy vehicles, including two Lamborghinis, while the artists performed for the camera.
The convoy reached some traffic lights on Brixton Road when McNeil, who police said is linked to a gang that is active in Brixton, ran up and attacked Mr Jerome, alongside four other men.
Mr Jerome tried to get away from the rambo knife-wielding McNeil, but was unable to get away because he was stuck between the Lamborghinis and a bus. He tried to push McNeil away but was unable.
McNeil then went for one of Mr Jerome’s friends and, crucially for the police investigation, put his hand on one of the Lamborghinis, leaving a print. The man was able to get away. All the while, McNeil’s friends were throwing things at the other people filming the video.
Mr Jerome managed to run to a private medical vehicle, where the driver called emergency services. Sadly Mr Jerome died later that evening.
McNeil was caught when police found the handprint on the car, as well as phone data placing him in the area at the time of the murder.
The court heard that McNeil has previous convictions for knife possession. When officers searched his home they found a frightening collection of knives. At sentencing, the judge ordered for all the knives to be destroyed.
Officers also found three videos recorded less than a week after Mr Jerome’s murder that showed McNeil playing with knives and boasting about his skill with them. They also found a video that had been sent to McNeil showing the aftermath of the murder.
In a statement, Shane’s family said: “Shane was our only beloved son, brother, uncle and boyfriend. He meant the world to us and he played a massive part in our lives. Shane was a hardworking young man who had his whole life ahead of him, ambitions to fulfill and many more memories to make. He was always progressing in life, he started off in the building trade at the age of 16 when he left school and then progressed on to being a scaffolder, which was his passion.
“Shane was very family orientated, he loved spending time with his loved ones and the people close to him. Shane was very much a homebody. He was everybody’s best friend in his own unique ways.
“Shane always talked about becoming a dad and having a family of his own. He wanted to follow his dad’s footsteps and have his first child at the age of 24 with his girlfriend, but sadly that opportunity got taken. We have all been deprived of the next generation and carrying on the family name as he was our only son.
“No words could ever express the heartache of losing such a close loved one, not only has Shane had his life taken, it’s also taken the rest of ours. No justice will ever compensate what we have lost as a family.
“Shane was an innocent member of the public at no fault of his own, who was brutally murdered on the 21 July 2021 in a senseless attack whilst riding his motorbike, fulfilling his passion. He will forever be missed and will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
Detective Sergeant Fleur Halsey, the investigating officer from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “McNeil, who was only 18 at the time, armed himself with a knife that day and went out with the intention of attacking and, at the very least, seriously harming people involved in shooting the music video.
“The first person McNeil reached was Shane, who despite his best efforts, was unable to escape McNeil’s brutal attack which was carried out in broad daylight in front of terrified onlookers. McNeil had already fatally injured Shane, but he was intent on causing even more bloodshed and he narrowly missed Shane’s friend who was able to dodge out of the way.
“McNeil had an unhealthy obsession with knives and clearly did not think about the consequences of carrying them. McNeil had no choice but to plead guilty to his heinous crimes due to the overwhelming evidence we, and our Forensic Services colleagues, collected against him. He now faces a very long time behind bars where he can give considerable thought to his actions. We will not tolerate violence and we will continue to robustly target those who carry weapons.
“We believe the attack was linked to gang rivalry, as part of the music video was filmed on a gang’s ‘territory, but Shane was not linked to any gangs and was the intended target. Shane had his whole life ahead of him and was passionate about motorcycles. He died while simply doing something he loved – showing off his beloved Yamaha. Our thoughts remains with Shane’s friends and family who have been dignified and shown tremendous courage throughout.”