By Calum Fraser
A grieving mother has paid tribute to her autistic son who was stabbed to death in South-east London.
Paul Akinnuoye, 20, knifed 19-year-old Jordan Wright to death on Hervey Road in Blackheath, Greenwich, on April 19, 2017.
Jordan’s mother, Katharine Alade, revealed that the trauma caused by her son’s death had left her feeling so distressed that she had contemplated suicide.
She said: “There is not one day when I don’t shed tears. I didn’t think it was possible to feel such physical, psychological or mental pain until that fateful day last April. I know I will never be the same.
“It is now nearly a year later and I still feel as depressed as I did the day I went to Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in Woolwich to be told that my son did not make it.”
Police were originally called at around 8:10pm on April 19, 2017, to reports of a stabbing on Hervey Road, at the junction of Begbie Road.
Officers and paramedics attended and found Jordan badly wounded. He later died in hospital.
Jordan and Akinnuoye were part of the same WhatsApp group in the hours leading up to Jordan’s death, but they were not friends.
An argument between them on the group escalated to the point that they made arrangements to meet for a pre-arranged fight.
CCTV footage prior to the incident captured the two meeting up and showed Akinnuoye being physically held back from Jordan following a verbal spat.
The group entered the park. The pair had a fight. Jordan was then fatally stabbed in the chest. Helped out of the park, the teenager collapsed at its entrance after saying, “I feel unwell.”
Local residents came to his assistance, administering first aid until the arrival of the paramedics who took him to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he died at 9:24pm.
A post-mortem held at Greenwich Mortuary the following day gave the cause of death as an stab wound to the chest. Other stab injuries were also found on his body.
Ms Alade said: “Jordan was a loving child. He wouldn’t have hurt a fly. He was big in body and in character. He was a funny guy. He was full of jokes. But he knew the difference between right and wrong.
“Which is why, even though he went to that park to have a fight over nonsense, he never took a knife.
“I always warned Jordan about the implications of carrying a knife.
“I could have dealt with him dying at such a young age through illness, but not by the hands of a boy the same age as him, and over what?”
Ms Alade also recalled how Jordan had been a ‘gift’ born to her relatively late in life when she had not planned more children – and despite enduring challenges from having autism, he had wanted for nothing and was happy and loving.
The condition did contribute however, she believed, towards his “innocent” outlook to life, meaning that he did not fully take on board the dangers on the streets such as knife crime, gangs and violence.
Akinnuoye was convicted of murder on Thursday February 22 at the Old Bailey and sentenced on Thursday June 14 to 21 years.
Jordan’s father, Neville Wright, said: “Jordan was my son, his death has changed my life forever. He was very loving, funny and a very caring person, as well as a very popular person.
“I think of him every day, of what he would have achieved in life – he is gone, but not forgotten.”