Boy told distraught mum 'I love you' moments before being fatally stabbed in the back by strangers as cops hunt knifeman

A SCHOOLBOY told his mum "I love you" – moments before he was stabbed to death in the street by strangers.

Jermaine Cools, 14, was walking with a relative in London Road, Croydon on Thursday last week when he was knifed in an unprovoked attack.

The youngster died in hospital after staggering into the path of a car and begging the driver to take him to A&E. Tragically, he died minutes after he arrived.

Police are continuing to hunt his killer.

Now his mum Lorraine Dudek has paid a devastating tribute to her son – and said young people must "put their knives down".

Lorraine told Sun Online she spent precious hours together with the teen before he was killed.

"We were together all morning that day," she said.

"I left because I had to go to work.


"He opened the front door for me and the last thing he said was, 'I'll see you later mum. I love you'."

Calling Jermaine her "soulmate", the 35-year-old told Sun Online: "He was always happy – always laughing, smiling and energetic.

"He was close to his family, especially me. We were together all the time, we laughed all the time. 

"He was always with me. We were soulmates."

Jermaine, who was home-schooled, was the "life and soul" of the family, Lorraine said.

"He was the light of my life. I live for him and his older brother," she said.


"He was mad about music. Music was on 24/7. He had the equipment to make his own music, and he was talking himself through the programmes in his own small studio.

"He loved cars and motorbikes – he was always showing me modifications he'd seen and liked."

Jermaine became the 27th teenager to die of homicide in London this year when a family member was confronted by an armed man near West Croydon Station.

The relative pushed Jermaine behind him – but didn't realise there were two other armed men there.

Jermaine managed to get into a passing car after the horror at 6.41pm on November 18. He died shortly after arriving at hospital at 7pm.

He was always with me. We were soulmates

Lorraine, who works in retail, said: "I am 100 per cent sure whoever did this didn't realise they'd attacked a 14-year-old boy.

"He was mature for his age, and big for his age. You would have said he was 18.

"But they took an innocent boy away for no reason at all."

Lorraine urged anyone with information to speak to Met Police.

Asked what she'd say to those carrying blades on the streets of London, she said: "They need to stop carrying a knife. They need to put their knives down.

"From the moment you walk out of your house with a knife, the intention is possibly to end someone's life.

"That's what happened to Jermaine.

"Life is precious – it's not something to waste away."

A spokesperson from the Met Police said: "This is still an ongoing investigation and enquiries continue into the circumstances."

Jermaine’s family have launched a fundraiser to pay for his funeral.

To donate, visit

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