A 17-year-old boy appeared in court today charged with the murder of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who was stabbed to death on her way to school in south London.

The boy, who has also been charged with possessing a knife, was seen briefly at Croydon Magistrates’ Court before being remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on October 3.

Elianne was wounded in the neck after getting off a bus in Wellesley Road, Croydon, at about 8.30am on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested in New Addington just over an hour later.

Elianne’s family visited the scene where she died yesterday evening as crowds gathered outside the police cordon and prayers were said.

She has been described by her family as the ‘light of our lives’. They said she was ‘bright and funny’ and ‘had her whole life ahead of her’.

The teenage murder suspect is swept into Croydon Magistrates' Court this morning

The teenage murder suspect is swept into Croydon Magistrates’ Court this morning

A 17-year-old boy appeared in court today charged with the murder of 15-year-old Elianne Andam in South London

A 17-year-old boy appeared in court today charged with the murder of 15-year-old Elianne Andam in South London 

Elianne’s heartbroken mother broke down in tears yesterday as she laid flowers at the spot where her daughter died.

Dorcas Andam was consoled by husband Michael and dozens of relatives as they paid their respects to aspiring lawyer Elianne, 15.

It is claimed the keen gymnast and cheerleader died as she stepped in to defend her friend who was attacked as she got off a bus in Croydon, south London, at 8.30am on Wednesday.

Elianne was on her way to classes at Old Palace of John Whitgift private school when she was killed – leaving her loved ones devastated.

Yesterday evening around 30 relatives held a vigil at the city centre bus stop where she died, laying flowers as they consoled one another.

Bishop of Croydon, Rosemarie Mallett, read a powerful family statement alongside Elianne’s aunt Marian.

‘We, as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne,’ she said. ‘Our hearts are broken. We are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief but our faith in the Lord is strengthening us.’

Elianne Andam was on her way to school when she was attacked in Wellesley Road at approximately 08:30am on Wednesday

Elianne Andam was on her way to school when she was attacked in Wellesley Road at approximately 08:30am on Wednesday

Dorcas Andam, in the black-and-white dress, arrived at the scene in Croydon where her 15-year-old daughter Elianne was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning

Dorcas Andam, in the black-and-white dress, arrived at the scene in Croydon where her 15-year-old daughter Elianne was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning

Elianne's parents were seen comforted by 30 members of her family, including cousins and aunts

Elianne’s parents were seen comforted by 30 members of her family, including cousins and aunts 

Elianne's aunt Marian (pictured in the beige cardigan) was consoled as they looked at the bus the teenager had been sat on moments before she was killed

Elianne’s aunt Marian (pictured in the beige cardigan) was consoled as they looked at the bus the teenager had been sat on moments before she was killed 

A female officer is comforted by her colleague as they attended the vigil

A female officer is comforted by her colleague as they attended the vigil

The statement described Elianne as ‘a beautiful person inside and out’ who was ‘intelligent, thoughtful, kind and had a bright future ahead of her’.

Hours earlier they had told how their ‘lives have fallen apart’ while Elianne’s dreams of becoming a lawyer ‘have now been shattered’. The GCSE student’s senseless stabbing has shocked the nation with Rishi Sunak yesterday saying he was appalled. Elianne has a six-year-old brother who she helped look after. Family friend Adama Dumbuya, 30, said: ‘I just can’t imagine what he is going to be like. She had a little brother. I know they were so close. She always looked after him. He is going to be so heartbroken.’

Witnesses said Elianne was killed after intervening in a row between a friend and a boy as they got off the number 60 bus.

The boy is said to have tried to offer the other girl flowers and a love letter to get back together with her but was rejected.

Elianne was stabbed in the neck with a ‘sword-like’ zombie knife as she tried to stand between them.

A bus driver tried to revive her and emergency services dashed to the scene but could not save Elianne. Police arrested a 17-year-old boy at New Addington tram station an hour later. He was in custody last night. Friends paid tribute to the victim last night, with one writing: ‘Elianne died saving her friend. She died for the people she loved the most.

‘She was there for her friends and family in a second, she made people laugh with her annoying jokes and was a right hand to the people she loved the most.’

Another wrote: ‘Elianne is my sister, no words could even describe the person she was. People who met her can’t even describe her to you because she was just perfect.’

The senseless killing has reignited anger over the knife crime epidemic sweeping London with Croydon among the worst areas in the capital. Mr Sunak called for longer sentences for ‘the most heinous crimes’.

The Prime Minister told the BBC: ‘It just illustrates the importance of clamping down on knife crime. The idea that a girl not much older than my own kids would have their life just cruelly ended in that way is absolutely shocking.’

Transport minister Richard Holden said London mayor Sadiq Khan must focus on knife crime.

But Mr Khan hit back, accusing the Tories of using the alleged murder ‘as a political football’.

Elianne’s friends were said to be sobbing and ‘so emotional’ at her school yesterday, according to Donna Murray-Turner, chairman of the local safer neighbourhood board. She said: ‘Staff, teachers, talked about when Elianne entered a room you knew she was there. And her friends, as you can imagine, were sobbing. They were so emotional.’

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Woodsford, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘My thoughts and the thoughts of my team are with Elianne’s family.’ She said officers were making good progress and were confident the attack happened near the bus stop rather than on the bus. A post mortem was conducted yesterday.

The 15 other teenagers who were murdered in London this year: 

Elianne Andam joins a tragic rollcall of teenagers who have been murdered in Britain’s capital since the start of 2023.

APRIL 6

Tiffany Regis, 15, died in a fire in a block of flats in Beckton that police treated as arson.

Tiffany Regis, 15, died in a fire in a block of flats in Beckton that police treated as arson

Tiffany Regis, 15, died in a fire in a block of flats in Beckton that police treated as arson

APRIL 10

Chima Osuji, 17, was fatally stabbed by a knife-wielding pursuer in Chingford.

Chima Osuji, 17, was fatally stabbed by a knife-wielding pursuer in Chingford

Chima Osuji, 17, was fatally stabbed by a knife-wielding pursuer in Chingford

APRIL 13

Tyler McDermott, 17, died after being found with a gunshot wound in Tottenham.

Tyler McDermott, 17, died after being found with a gunshot wound in Tottenham

Tyler McDermott, 17, died after being found with a gunshot wound in Tottenham

MAY 5

Wazabakana Elenda Jordan Kukabu, 18, was stabbed to death in Dagenham.

Wazabakana Elenda Jordan Kukabu, 18, was stabbed to death in Dagenham

Wazabakana Elenda Jordan Kukabu, 18, was stabbed to death in Dagenham

MAY 5

Renell Charles, 16, was fatally knifed in an ambush near his school in Walthamstow.

Renell Charles, 16, was fatally knifed in an ambush near his school in Walthamstow

Renell Charles, 16, was fatally knifed in an ambush near his school in Walthamstow

JUNE 19

Khaled Saleh, 17, was found with fatal stab wounds in Paddington Green

Khaled Saleh, 17, was found with fatal stab wounds in Paddington Green

Khaled Saleh, 17, was found with fatal stab wounds in Paddington Green

JUNE 26

Victor Lee, 17, was found stabbed to death in a canal near Willesden Junction

Victor Lee, 17, was found stabbed to death in a canal near Willesden Junction

Victor Lee, 17, was found stabbed to death in a canal near Willesden Junction

JUNE 29

Leonardo Reid, 15, was killed during the shooting of a music video in Archway

Leonardo Reid, 15, was killed during the shooting of a music video in Archway

Leonardo Reid, 15, was killed during the shooting of a music video in Archway

JULY 3

Andre Salmon, 18, was fatally shot in the chest while riding his moped in Tottenham

Andre Salmon, 18, was fatally shot in the chest while riding his moped in Tottenham

Andre Salmon, 18, was fatally shot in the chest while riding his moped in Tottenham

JULY 9

Rahaan Ahmed Amin, 16, was stabbed to death in the heart in West Ham Park

Rahaan Ahmed Amin, 16, was stabbed to death in the heart in West Ham Park

Rahaan Ahmed Amin, 16, was stabbed to death in the heart in West Ham Park

JULY 14

Claudyo Jauad Lafayette, 17, was killed in a street fight after a party in Kilburn

Claudyo Jauad Lafayette, 17, was killed in a street fight after a party in Kilburn

Claudyo Jauad Lafayette, 17, was killed in a street fight after a party in Kilburn

JULY 28

Stefan Valentine Balaban, 19, suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest in Edgware

Stefan Valentine Balaban, 19, suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest in Edgware

Stefan Valentine Balaban, 19, suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest in Edgware

AUGUST 7

Yusuf Mohamoud, 18, was found with fatal knife wounds near a Finchley supermarket

Yusuf Mohamoud, 18, was found with fatal knife wounds near a Finchley supermarket

Yusuf Mohamoud, 18, was found with fatal knife wounds near a Finchley supermarket

SEPTEMBER 4

Anis Omar Zen, 19 and from Harrow, was fatally stabbed in nearby Stanmore

Anis Omar Zen, 19 and from Harrow, was fatally stabbed in nearby Stanmore

Anis Omar Zen, 19 and from Harrow, was fatally stabbed in nearby Stanmore

SEPTEMBER 20

Max Moy Wheatley, 19, was stabbed to death in Jubilee Country Park in Petts Wood

Max Moy Wheatley, 19, was stabbed to death in Jubilee Country Park in Petts Wood

Max Moy Wheatley, 19, was stabbed to death in Jubilee Country Park in Petts Wood

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