Thugs who met in prison left fellow inmate with life-changing injuries

Two thugs who met in prison while awaiting murder trials for London stabbings left a fellow inmate with life-changing injuries by stamping on his head

  • Marques Walker and Vanushan Balakrishnan, 17, were awaiting murder trials 
  • The brutal attack left the victim with ‘permanent and significant brain damage’

Two thugs who murdered teenage boys in unrelated stabbings on the streets of London became acquaintances in prison and left a fellow inmate with life-changing injuries after stamping on his head repeatedly.

Marques Walker, 17, and Vanushan Balakrishnan, 18, were awaiting murder trials for separate stabbings just days apart when they were placed in the same cell block at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute.

Walker was being held on remand for the murder of unarmed 14-year-old Jermaine Cools in Croydon, south London, on November 18, 2021.

Balakrishnan was also awaiting trial for the murder of 16-year-old Rishmeet Singh, an Afghan refugee he stabbed to death in a case of mistaken identity, in Southall, west London, six days later.

But the pair, who were both this week jailed for life, carried out a brutal ‘revenge attack on a youth Walker perceived to be a snitch’ – leaving the victim ‘permanent and significant brain damage’.

Marques Walker, 17 (pictured) has been jailed for a minimum of 19 years for stabbing Jermaine Cools, 14, to death outside a chicken shop in Croydon in 2021

Vanushan Balakrishnan, 18, killed the teenager in a case of mistaken identity after wrongly thinking he belonged to a rival gang in November 2021.

The pair of killers were on remand at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute (pictured) when the heinous attack took place in July last year

Walker, of Croydon, and Balakrishnan, of Hillingdon, had been placed in the Feltham’s Eagle Wing with four other inmates.

READ MORE: Shocking moment cannabis-smoking child killer, 17, butchers boy, 14, with machete outside chicken shop then flees in ‘senseless’ murder 

At Walker’s sentencing this week, prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC told the Old Bailey he had become the leader of the small group.

At around 10.30am, the inmates had been outside for their exercise period when they ignored the request of two prison officers to return inside.

Captured at a distance on poor quality CCTV, the victim was then seen to stand up on a park bench before being surrounded by four of the inmates – including Walker and Balakrishnan.

Walked punched the victim causing him to fall backwards onto the ground, before the group ‘kicked and stamped’ on his head and torso in a sustained attack until prison officers were able to intervene.

During the attack, Walker was heard shouting ‘finish him off’ and ‘this is how you put mans to sleep’.

When finally restrained by officers, he then asked if the victim was dead, adding: ‘That’s what snitches get.’

He was also heard to say: ‘You’re all wet, I had to start it. That’s what you get, that’s what you get.’

Balakrishnan then shouted ‘rest in peace; while looking at the victim.

The court heard both Walker and Balakrishnan were laughing together after the incident, adding: ‘That’s what happens to snitches. That’s how we wipe them out.’

Walker was also heard shouting ‘we smoked him’ and made gun signs with his hands as his cell door was closed.

Jermaine was stabbed seven times as he lay on the ground. At the age of 14 he was the youngest victim of fatal knife crime in 2021

Rishmeet Singh (pictured) was stabbed to death after being chased along a road in Southall in November 2021

Jermaine’s parents Lorraine Dudek and Julius Cools were supportive of the sentencing being broadcast

A search of Walker’s cell subsequently resulted in an improvised weapon being seized.

The victim was left unconscious with a bleed on his brain.

READ MORE: Mother who fled to UK after husband was murdered by Taliban says ‘I’ll never recover’ after only son stabbed to death in mistaken identity attack

When he momentarily regained consciousness, he begged officers to save his life, saying: ‘Don’t let me die, I have a daughter.’

He then fell back into unconsciousness and was rushed to Royal London Hospital via an air ambulance, where he spent more than an hour receiving emergency surgery.

His cognitive functions remain badly affected, the court heard, and he has no recollection of the incident.

A report from a neurological occupational therapist said he has suffered impairments to his ‘attention, concentration, memory, eye contact, emotions, sleep and double vision’. 

He is now undergoing a lengthy rehabilitation process and will need long-term support to reach his full potential, the court heard. 

Walker was jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years at the Old Bailey on Tuesday for the murder of Jermaine Cools, 14, outside a chicken shop in Croydon.

 In a ‘ferocious’ attack, Walker stabbed Jermaine seven times with a huge machete as he lay defenceless on the ground.

He had been on bail for carrying a Zombie knife six weeks before the murder and had a previous conviction for bringing a Rambo-styled weapon to school.

Walker was jailed for four years for causing grievous bodily harm at the prison, to be served concurrently to his murder sentence.

This is the shocking moment a cannabis-smoking child killer (pictured) stabbed an unarmed boy with a machete outside a chicken shop before running away

Walker was seen stabbing the child repeatedly with a machete in the ‘ferocious’ attack in Croydon, south London

A post-mortem examination found Jermaine had suffered seven stab wounds to his body, with the fatal wound to his chest piercing a lung. Pictured: The scene after the attack 

In rap lyrics found by a prison officer at Feltham, Walker wrote: ‘Man love to say that I shanked a civ [non-gang member] but you can’t name one civ that I shanked.’

‘Even if that dude was a civ I’d still rewind and stab up his back.

‘I had young stardog rolling on the ground but then I had to duck from police, I left him deceased.

‘We had mumsy grieving, I left mandem screeching, I had mandem looking at his wounds like s***, I think I’m bleeding.’

The court heard that ‘stardog’ referred to the street where Jermaine’s older brother lived.

Balakrishnan, meanwhile, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 24 years at the same court yesterday.

With accomplice Ilyas Suleiman, 17, stabbed to death 16-year-old Rishmeet Singh after wrongly thinking he belonged to a rival gang.

Walker was first caught with a blade in January 2020 when teachers found a 10in Rambo-style knife (pictured) in his school rucksack

In April 2021, when he was stopped by police outside a county lines operation in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, Walker pulled a serrated dagger (pictured) from his waistband and discarded it as he fled from officers

And in October 2021, six weeks before Jermaine’s murder, Walker was caught on a bus in Croydon, south London, with a 20in zombie knife (pictured)

The pair chased Rishmeet down a street before inflicting 15 stab wounds – including five to his back – during a 27-second episode of heinous violence. 

Rishmeet, an aspiring police officer who fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban after they killed his father two years earlier, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Similar to Walker, Balakrishnan was also found to have written lyrics boasting about the fatal stabbing.

A notebook found at his home contained the words: ‘Feel my blade rip through his flesh. Bro told me u ready to go on a glide tonight. I was so excited like a kid going to a fun fair ride.’

Ilyas Suleiman was also jailed for life for the murder of the 16-year-old Afghan refugee in Southall

He also wrote: ‘Tryna push my nank through his lungs. He got left screaming like alvin and the chipmunks and opps running I’m catching up so don’t get cheffed (stabbed) in the back. But 1 tripped and fell he knew it was over when I was swinging by shank.’

Suleiman was jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years.

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