Two teenagers guilty of killing man who was stabbed at 18th birthday party

|News, Violent crime

A teenager has been found guilty of murdering a man at an 18th birthday party in Cheshire.

Joe Ward
Joe Ward

Joe Ward, 18, was found guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon today (5 April 2019) by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court.

Ward fatally stabbed Eddie O’Rourke, 18, at the Royal British Legion Club in Runcorn on the evening of 7 September 2018.

A 15-year-old who cannot be named because of his age, who handed Ward a knife, was found guilty of manslaughter and had earlier admitted possession of an offensive weapon.

Ward, of Lockfield in Runcorn, had a grudge against Mr O’Rourke because he was going out with his ex-girlfriend.

The two men exchanged words at the party and went outside but returned to the party.

CCTV showed how the 15-year-old defendant handed Ward a knife with a 12-inch blade which he took from the waistband of his trousers.

The two then went outside with Mr O’Rourke and got into a fight with him. Ward then stabbed Mr O’Rourke in the stomach. Mr O’Rourke was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards.

The 15-year-old had been jointly accused of murder with Ward but was acquitted by the jury of that charge.

Damion Lloyd, of the CPS, said: “This was meant to be a party to mark a young person’s coming of age.

“Instead, these two defendants used it as opportunity to kill another young person that they had a grudge against.

“The jury have found these teenagers guilty of some of the most serious offences in the criminal justice system and they can now expect substantial jail terms as a result.

"The Crown Prosecution Service would like to extend condolences to the family and friends of Eddie O’Rourke at this very difficult time.”

They will be sentenced at a later date to be set by the court.

Notes to editors

  • Damion Lloyd is a District Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service.

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