Rayon Pennycook murder trial: Jury hears for first time what happened on night of fatal Corby stabbing

The trial following the death of the Corby teenager began this morning

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:55 am
Rayon Pennycook was killed in Reynolds Road, Corby.

A court has heard the harrowing circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a Corby teen for the first time.

A jury at Northampton Crown Court was told that Rayon Pennycook, who was just 16 when he died, was involved in row with another boy in Reynolds Road on the night of May 25. Both were armed with knives and the defendant delivered the single fatal wound to Rayon's chest before leaving the scene and changing his clothes.

Although a police officer tried to save Rayon's life by delivering CPR, the boy was declared dead soon afterwards.

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The 17-year-old defendant, who has been granted anonymity by the court, had previously pleaded not guilty to murdering Rayon and on Monday he also denied an alternative charge of manslaughter and one of possession of a knife in a public place.

On Tuesday (November 16), watched by several members of Rayon's family from the public gallery, prosecutor Jeremy Benson QC opened the crown's case.

The court was told that a girl close to Rayon and a girl close to the defendant had been present in two next-door terraced houses in Reynolds Road. Shortly after 6.30pm the girls came out from the respective houses into the garden of one of the homes and had a physical fight.

The fight was broken up by Rayon, who had also come out of the same terraced house as one of the girls.

At 6.47pm four boys were spotted running up George Street in the town centre towards the home of the defendant. He then came out of his home to the boys and they were then joined by a sixth boy before they made their way to Reynolds Road.

Mr Benson said: "Rayon emerged from (the house) in an aggressive way.. He was armed with a long kitchen knife and headed towards the group that included the defendant. It may have been an attempt to drive them away.

"The defendant was seen to take an item from his bag and the situation swiftly deteriorated to a point where the defendant and the deceased were facing each other and lunging at each other with knives.

"Rayon Pennycook began to back away. He turned and ran. The defendant gave chase."

The defendant was then seen running away from the scene and about a minute later, just before 7pm, he was spotted again with his five friends.

Rayon had managed to get back to the house in Reynolds Road and a police officer arrived at 7.05pm and saw that someone had tried to stop the bleeding coming from his chest with a towel.

The officer managed to find a faint pulse and began CPR. Paramedics arrived and at 7.29pm the air ambulance landed close by. But medics could not save Rayon.

Mr Benson continued: "The defendant left the scene and in the next 1.5 hours he must have disposed of the weapon."

He said that the defendant has never told anyone what he did with that knife and, despite searches, it has never been found.

At 8.24pm he was seen entering Pure Gym in Willow Place which is close to the scene of the stabbing. Another boy who had been with him at the incident also went into the gym. The defendant was inside the gym for 24 minutes and in that time he changed his clothes.

He arrived home at 9.15pm and his dad asked him how he was.

Mr Benson said that the boy had said: "Dad I've got to tell you something important. I was with some friends and some guy attacked me.

"He pulled a knife on me and tried to stab me in the shoulder or neck.

"I tried to push him away from me to defend myself."

The defendant was crying. He said: "I stabbed him in the shoulder to defend myself. I didn't do it on purpose. I'm not a murderer."

His father then drove him to the Police Northern Accommodation Building in Kettering where he handed himself in.

In interview he answered 'no comment' to all questions put to him.

The defence case was briefly outlined by is Honour Judge David Herbert QC who said that the defendant had admitted being present on the scene but that he went there in defence of another, took along the knife in defence of another and stabbed Rayon in an act of 'reasonable self defence'.

The first witness, who made the 999 call to the emergency services, told the court she could see a group of teenage boys milling about at the Constable Road end of Reynolds Road.

She then saw both girls coming out of the terraced houses in Reynolds Road.

"I saw female one grab female two," she said. "She grabbed her by the hair and pulled her down to the ground."

"She got back up and there was a cat fight.

"Somebody came out and split them up. At that point it was more-or-less over with anyway."

The pair went back into the respective houses and then the witness noticed the group of boys start to move down the road. It was the same group she had previously seen.

She then saw the same boy come out of one of the houses and begin walking towards the group gesturing with his hands.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks and will continue tomorrow.