Headteacher’s heartache as two pupils stabbed to death in 6 months

·2-min read
Zaian Aimable-Lina (L) and Damarie Omare Roye (R) (Met Police)
Zaian Aimable-Lina (L) and Damarie Omare Roye (R) (Met Police)

A headteacher has paid tribute to two of his pupils who were stabbed to death within six months of each other.

Oasis Academy Shirley Park pupil Zaian Aimable-Lina, 15, died after being stabbed in Ashburton Park, Croydon, on Thursday December 30.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested on New Year’s Day and has been charged with murder and possession of an article with a blade or point.

It came six months after the tragic death of Damarie Omare Roye, 16, who died in hospital after he was found injured in the street in Thornton Heath.

Damarie became the 22nd teenager killed in London last year with Zaian the 29th, in a record breaking year for teen murders.

His father Dwayne Roye, 41, described his son as a “respectful, loving boy” who had never been in trouble with the police.

Zaian’s head teacher Saqib Chaudhri told of his heartbreak of hearing of another death of a pupil

Mr Chaudhri told MyLondon: “You remember the boy, you remember the child. You remember what nice kids they were.

“When you last joked around with them, when they last smiled around you.

“You remember the child because that’s all they were to us - they were children.

“You remember the individual in the initial moments and then your thoughts turn to the family because we are really close with the families too, they are heavily on our minds.”

Headteacher Saqib Chaudhri at Oasis Academy in Croydon, south London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Headteacher Saqib Chaudhri at Oasis Academy in Croydon, south London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

He turned his mind on how to help his school carry the weight of the murders with pupils and staff recieving help from specialist grief councillors.

The founder of Oasis Academy has secured the use of Ashburton Lodge, a large residential building in the park where he was killed.

It will be refurbished as The Zaian Centre - an outreach hub for students and young people out of term time, with approval from his family.

Ashburton Park stabbing (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
Ashburton Park stabbing (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

The property was previously up for a reduced auction price but the local council cancelled the sale to allow time to collect funds for the proposed youth centre.

Mr Chaudhri said: “The grief of staff and students in the last two weeks has been tangible. But we are Shirley Park, and we will not be swallowed by this darkness.

“Together, we will raise funds and secure the future of not only Zaian’s memory but also of every young person in Addiscombe and Croydon as a whole.

“We will shine our light in this darkness and we will be stronger and more united for it.”

An appeal has so far reached £8,370 of the £20,000 goal to donate click here.

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