‘Ché is still alive in our hearts’: Family of murdered Ilford 20-year-old speak out as callous killer jailed for life
PUBLISHED: 13:45 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 24 July 2019
The mother of murdered 20-year-old Che Morrison has spoken of her heartbreak after the thug who stabbed her son to death was jailed for life at the Old Bailey today (Wednesday, July 24).
Florent Okende, 20, of Eastern Avenue, Gants Hill, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Che in Cranbrook Road on February 26 this year.
He was sentenced at the same time to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 23 years.
Police were called at 8.48hpm to reports of a stabbing outside Ilford Railway Station in Cranbrook Road.
Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and found 20-year-old Che injured.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene around 30 minutes later.
In a statement released after the sentence was passed, Che's mum Novina Morrison said: "On February 26 2019, I lost a part of me.
"Ché was my only son and the baby of my family.
"The past few months have been hard.
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"I have to live with the daily reminder that my son was callously and senselessly murdered, as he waited by Ilford station to meet his friends.
"July 17 - his 21st birthday - a day that should have been memorable, was spent standing by my son's grave asking 'what if?' and 'why him?'.
"Ché is still alive in our hearts, and what I am sure of is that his finger prints can't be wiped away, for his little marks of kindness that he has left behind cannot be erased."
A murder investigation was launched under Det Ch Insp Mark Cranwell.
Officers reviewed CCTV which captured the moment that Ché was stabbed and Okende was identified as a suspect in the murder.
Det Ch Insp Cranwell said: "Without any warning, Okende punched Ché in the head, and three seconds later leaned forward and stabbed him in the chest.
"Ché's injury proved fatal, despite paramedics from London Ambulance Service swiftly coming to his aid.
"The bravery of Ché's family has been extraordinary throughout this harrowing time, and they will forever have to live with this terrible loss.
"Okende showed no remorse for murdering Ché, and is a determined offender, with no regard for the law, or respect for life.
"I hope today's sentencing gives Ché's family a small, but meaningful measure of comfort."