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Teenager appears in UK court over murder of 15-year-old girl with Ghanaian parents

Crime scene / Credit: Myjoyonline.com

A 17-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with murdering 15-year-old Elianne Andam in south London.

The boy, who cannot legally be named because of his age, is also charged with possessing a kitchen knife in a public place without good reason.

Elianne was stabbed to death at a bus stop on Wellesley Road in central Croydon on Wednesday morning, as she made her way to school.

He did not indicate how he would plead to the charges, his lawyers said.

The boy was remanded in youth detention when he appeared at youth court at Croydon Magistrates’ Court. He is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The Ghanaian connection:

The attack on Ms. Andam, who according to the UK Guardian has Ghanaian parents, has become the subject of widespread reports in the international media space.

According to reports, she was on her way to school on Wednesday (September 27, 2023) morning with a friend who had been approached by an ex-lover with flowers when they disembarked from the bus.

Elianne, a pupil of Old Palace of John Whitgift School, was stabbed in the neck with a foot-long knife as she reportedly protected her friend from the attacker, a boy known to them.

On her Ghanaian parentage, the UK Guardian wrote: Elianne’s father is a writer of Christian teachings, while her mother works as an NHS specialist nurse safeguarding children. Both are of Ghanaian heritage and are active in the Christian community.

Further checks by GhanaWeb identified her mother as Dorcas and her father as Michael.

The UK Mirror stated in their report: “Her mum Dorcas broke down in tears as she visited the scene this evening, supported by approximately 30 family members. Elianne’s father Michael was also present.”

Relatives visit scene of attack

Relatives visited the scene of the attack on Wellesley Road on Thursday, with a large group gathering next to a bus stop inside the police cordon.

Members of the group embraced as flowers were placed on the ground.

Police, paramedics and an air ambulance were called to reports of the stabbing, near the Whitgift Centre, at about 08:30 BST on Wednesday, but Elianne died shortly afterwards.

The year-11 pupil at Old Palace of John Whitgift school, in Croydon, had just got off a double-decker bus with a group of friends when she was attacked.

Witnesses said the bus driver and other passers-by tried to save her.

A statement issued on behalf of Elianne’s family said: “We, as a family, are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne.

“Our hearts are broken and we are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief. Our faith in the Lord is strengthening us.

“We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to send us thoughtful and compassionate messages and prayers.”

The statement added: “Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out who loved Jesus. She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind and had a bright future ahead.”

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was shocked and appalled at Elianne’s death and that sentences for knife-related crimes should be toughened.

“Everyone will be looking at that and be shocked as I am, appalled by what’s happened and, quite frankly, angry. It just illustrates the importance of clamping down on knife crime,” he said.

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