Teenager convicted of murder
A teenager has been found guilty of murdering a 53-year-old man near an Asda supermarket in March last year.
The boy aged 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of the murder of 53-year-old Ian Kirwan following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
On 8 March last year, Mr Kirwan was stabbed to death outside the Asda supermarket in Redditch at around 7.15pm. He sustained a single stab wound to the heart and died before arriving at hospital.
During the trial, the court heard how the boy, who was part of a larger group, was involved in antisocial behaviour in the toilets of the Asda store on the evening of the murder. Mr Kirwan was stabbed after he confronted the group about their behaviour outside the store.
The defendant and his group were seen on CCTV surrounding Mr Kirwan outside the store before he was fatally stabbed.
Building the case
The 15-year-old pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Kirwan but denied murder. The case was proved using witness testimony, expert medical evidence, extensive CCTV, DNA evidence and mobile phone forensics gathered by the police which enabled the CPS to prove the case.
Before the fatal stabbing, a group of 11 youths had travelled by train to Redditch with their faces covered, with the intention of fighting a rival group of youths to assert themselves and enhance their reputation as a ‘gang.’ They were captured on CCTV engaging in antisocial behaviour and witnesses recall being intimidated by their behaviour. By the time the defendant and part of the group encountered Mr Kirwan, they were already hyped up and ready for a fight and it was no accident that Mr Kirwan was stabbed.
Three other members of the group, aged 14 -16, were convicted of violent disorder arising out of the same incident which ended in Mr Kirwan’s murder, one of whom had already pleaded guilty to possession of a knife earlier in the proceedings.
Lucy Myatt of the CPS said: “This was a senseless murder which has devastated Mr Kirwan’s family and friends. The defendant went out looking for trouble and encountered Mr Kirwan who simply challenged the group of boys about their bad behaviour. This encounter cost a man his life, and no outcome can replace the terrible loss his family has suffered.
“I hope the outcome of today’s hearing serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of carrying and using a knife. Those who choose to carry knives can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts are with Mr Kirwan’s family at this difficult time.”
Notes to editors
- Lucy Myatt is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.