Man Guilty Of Murdering 16 Year-Old

A 27-year-old man has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering teenager Wesley Sterling at a 16th birthday party.

Carleto Salmons, from Thornton Heath, was attending his girlfriend’s son’s birthday party, when he stabbed 16 year-old Wesley through the heart.

Wesley was an invited guest at the party on 17 April 2010 at the Croydon Sports Arena, Albert Road in South Norwood. The party was attended by some 200 young people.

Wesley arrived at the party with a friend shortly before 11pm and told a female friend that he would not be staying long. With tragic irony she recalled telling him to ‘stay safe’ to which he responded, “I’m blessed.”

Around 11pm a gang of uninvited youths tried to gatecrash the celebrations. Police attended and the trouble-makers were moved on without much fuss.

However shortly after midnight police began receiving 999 calls reporting a large disturbance at the Arena.

Wesley was amongst other party goers leaving the venue when they were rushed by a large group of youths, causing panic and a surge to get back inside.

At the door was Salmons who was dressed in a red jacket and was wearing a distinctive red baseball cap. He was brandishing the birthday cake knife he had taken from the kitchen.

Witnesses described how they saw him deliver a single blow to Wesley who fell in the foyer area.

A number of police officers responding to the calls of the disturbance were now at the scene and found Wesley lying on a ramp leading up to the venue. He had been moved and a number of guests were attempting CPR on him.

Officers took over the CPR until the Ambulance Service arrived but despite their best efforts he was dead.

After stabbing Wesley, Salmons was seen to wipe clean the knife and leave it in the kitchen. Mysteriously officers were to later find it near to Wesley’s body.

A witness trying to resuscitate Wesley recalled someone lifting the teenagers top and trying to push a knife into his waistband. Detectives believe this could have been an attempt to plant the knife on Wesley.

While the emergency services were still tending to Wesley, Salmons and his girlfriend (the mother of the birthday boy) were seen walking arm-in-arm past a mortally injured boy, through the police cordon and out of the car park.

Salmons was arrested in the home of his girlfriend’s mother, by detectives from the MPS Homicide and Serious Crime Command on 27 April 2010.

Enquiries revealed the murder weapon belonged to a set which was owned by the birthday boy’s grandmother and was brought to the party to cut the cake.

Officers also noted Salmons had shaved off a full beard and changed the style of his hair.

When asked for the clothing he was wearing on the night, Salmons told officers he had lost his jacket after leaving it in a taxi, however his red baseball cap was found at his home address.

Salmons refused to answer any questions put to him in his police interviews but did provide a pre-prepared statement in which he denied at any stage having a knife, being involved in any fighting and murdering Wesley.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, said: “Salmons’ response to the events of that night were totally disproportionate and his actions to cover-up what he had done following Wesley’s death were callous and cowardly.

“I would like to thank all the witnesses who provided statements or were courageous enough to come to court and give evidence. I have no doubt that their brave actions have led to the decision of the jury to find Salmons guilty of Wesley’s murder.”

Salmons will be sentenced at the Old Bailey later today.


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