Kieran Gillespie given life sentence for killing bus passenger

28/07/2017

A man was yesterday found guilty and sentence to life imprisonment for the murder of a passenger who was stabbed to death on the upper deck of a bus they were travelling in.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard that approximately 11pm on 23 January 2017, Leon Hazle boarded the number 11 bus in Handsworth and went to the top deck to take a seat.

A short time later, 27-year-old Kieran Gillespie boarded the same bus and he too went to the top deck and sat near the victim.

The two men began to have a conversation with each other which escalated into a verbal altercation. The defendant stabbed Mr Hazle numerous times and then made his way off the bus.

Passengers attended to the victim and informed the bus driver who contacted the police. In the commotion, Gillespie was seen to go back to the top deck, collect his cap, which had dropped, and then calmly exited the bus.

Paramedics soon arrived, but tragically Mr Hazle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following an appeal by the police for information on the attacker, the defendant handed himself into the police on 25 January 2017 and was charged with murder.

He has been handed a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 26 years.

Georgina Davies, Senior Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"In front of his fellow bus passengers, Kieran Gillespie launched an unprovoked and frenzied attack on Mr Hazle which resulted in the victim being fatally stabbed with a pair of scissors. He then fled the scene of the attack, leaving the victim to die on the bus. 

"The defendant eventually surrendered to police and claimed he had acted in self-defence. However, a jury has found him to be the aggressor and guilty of the murder of Mr Hazle.

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Leon Hazle."