London’s teenage homicides hit record high as social media blamed for fuelling violence

Mr Mezenner, 17, was stabbed in West Green Road, Islington on January 19, making him the first teenager killed in London in 2021. 

A student at City and Islington College, he had made an anti-knife crime video just weeks before he was stabbed as part of his media studies course.

His mother described him as a “lovely” and “very academic” boy who “did not deserve this at all” and said he had wanted to be a pilot, while his 21-year-old brother said he was a “quiet and humble person”.

A 17-year-old was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey in August. The defendant had dozens of clips on his mobile phone of play-fighting and posing for pictures with large blades.

Two other 17-year-olds were convicted of manslaughter.

Romario Opia

Mr Opia, 15, died on January 25 after being stabbed to death in Archway, a week before his 16th birthday.

More than 100 people attended a vigil in his honour on February 2 in Holland Walk on Archway’s Elthorne Estate, some wearing T-shirts printed with his photograph, while others lit candles, said prayers and released paper lanterns. 

His aunt said at the memorial: “Young people, I’m going to say this. Put it [knives] down and reach for the skies. You are the sons and daughters of tomorrow.”

Alan Streeter, the headteacher of Beacon High School, said of his former pupil: “Whilst he attended the school he proved to be a big character and a very popular young man… Our school community, and in particular his friends, are trying to make sense of this terrible loss.”

Hani Solomon

Mr Solomon, 18, was fatally stabbed in the chest on February 11 in Parsons Green.

After leaving tributes to Hani at the place he died in Ackmar Road, friends had described him as “one in a million” and “one of the nicest boys around”.

Tyrell Logan, 18, a close friend of the victim, said: “He was a friend you could always count on… If you can’t afford something, he’s there for you, if you can’t do something, he’ll do it for you – that’s how he works, that was his moral in life.”

Drekwon Patterson

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