Life Sentence for Joseph Marafini's Killer

15-year-old was stabbed to death outside Sainsbury's on Garrett Lane

20-year-old Imran Boudjellel
Minimum of 22 year for 20-year-old Imran Boudjellel

The man who murdered a teenager in the centre of Wandsworth last year has been jailed for life.

15-year-old Joseph Marafini was walking with a friend, also aged 15, along Garratt Lane near the Sainsbury’s supermarket with a friend on 29 October 2020 when they confronted by a gang of five teenage males.

One of the group, 20-year-old Imran Boudjellel of Bronti Close, Walworth, produced a knife and stabbed Joseph in the shoulder and neck as and his friend in the chest and arm.

Joseph’s friend told police he did not know why they were attacked and said nothing was done to provoke the group.

The attack was captured on CCTV and also on the body-worn camera of an officer in a police van, who happened to be passing at the time. The officers attempted to save Joseph’s life and he was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

CCTV footage before stabbing of Joseph Marafini

Boudjellel was chased by officers into a nearby graveyard and arrested. A witness told police they had seen Boudjellel throw something over a wall and a large knife and sheath were found in a car park nearby, which had blood on it that was matched to the DNA of Joseph. The DNA of Boudjellal was also located on the sheath of the knife.

Police cordon off area near scene of fatal stabbing in Wandsworth
Police cordon off area near scene of fatal stabbing in Wandsworth

Subsequent analysis of CCTV by Homicide Command detectives showed Boudjellel had been the one who had used the knife to stab Joseph twice. He was then seen running away from the scene with the knife in his hand.

Following an eight-week trial at Kingston Crown Court, he was convicted of murder and this Thursday (18 November) her was jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years.

He was also convicted of possession of a knife in a public place and causing grievous bodily harm with intent against the other boy. He received an extra six years' imprisonment for these charges to be served concurrently.

The four other teenage males who were in the group had their cases dismissed following a ruling by the Judge.

Natalie Marafini, Joseph's mother, said in her victim impact statement, “I am very proud to be Joseph’s Mother, He was full of love, a good friend, and protective towards those in society who were vulnerable. At his primary school he was known as Jojo, ‘the well liked and smart witted kid who would stick up for anyone.

“There was so much Joseph wanted to see and do, many people told me he had great potential.”

Joseph had an older brother called Samuel who has Autism and complex special needs. His mother says that, with Joseph gone, Samuel’s life has gone from difficult to impossible and he cries uncontrollably leaving his bedroom window open for Joseph to come home.

She adds, “I will never be the person I used to be. Samuel has lost the energetic busy Mother. I have become a shadow person longing for the days to end but dreading sleep which brings only nightmares.”

15-year-old Joseph Marafini

Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall, the lead investigator, said, “I know this incident caused a great deal of public concern as it happened outside a supermarket at a busy time of the day with people going about their lives in an ordinary way. Nobody should expect to witness such an incident.

"This was a completely unprovoked attack by a man who was a habitual knife carrier and It is sadly another example of the senseless violence that has resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy, who was a beloved son and brother. His family have been left devastated by their loss and we continue to support them through this ordeal.

"I would like to praise the police officers who, despite being very young in service, were first on scene, chased and detained the suspect and provided CPR to try and save Joseph’s life. It is important for public safety that Imran Boudjellel has now been brought to justice and will no longer be able to inflict violence to anyone else on the streets of London for a considerable time.”

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November 18, 2021