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Huddersfield teenagers sentenced for brutal murder of night-shift supervisor

|News, Violent crime

Kiyran Earnshaw and Luke Gaukroger were sentenced today at Leeds Crown Court for the murder of 53-year-old Robert Wilson, who was employed at pharmaceutical manufacturer Thornton Ross in Linthwaite, Huddersfield.

Earnshaw was sentenced to life with a minimum term of  21 years and 140 days. Gaukroger was sentenced to a minimum term of 16 years and 17 days.

Earnshaw also pleaded guilty to inflicting serious bodily harm on a second victim, John Badejo, and Gaukroger pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

At around 11pm on 16 January 2020, Mr Wilson, whose duties included assisting with site security, saw a group of youths roaming the car park and, together with two colleagues, John Badejo and another man, went to investigate.

The two defendants had spent the day meeting friends and drinking. The friends later confirmed that Earnshaw had a sword tucked into the waistband of his tracksuit, and Gaukroger had a knife.

At the Thornton Ross premises, Mr Wilson and his two colleagues approached the group, and it appears that Earnshaw’s co-defendant Gaukroger had dropped his phone. The men agreed to look for it, hoping that this would encourage the group to leave the car park.

Mr Wilson illuminated the torch on his mobile to assist the search, and then was seen to put the phone to his ear. That action seemed to convince Earnshaw that the men were filming the incident. Earnshaw then pursued Mr Wilson, brandishing the sword, and striking him a number of times. John Badejo attempted to deflect the sword but in doing so his hand was severely injured. The attack on Mr Wilson intensified, while Mr Badejo and his colleague ran for their lives in terror.

The attack on Mr Wilson continued to escalate, with both Earnshaw and Gaukroger inflicting multiple injuries.

James Goddard from the CPS said: “This was a ferocious and frenzied attack on an innocent man who was simply carrying out his duties.

“The two teenagers inflicted an horrific level of violence on Mr Wilson as well as seriously injuring Mr Badejo.

“The two defendants are now facing significant jail sentences.

“Our thoughts remain with Mr Wilson’s family and friends, as they have been throughout.”

Notes to editors

  • James Goddard is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside.
    Kiryan Earnshaw (D.o.B. 30/9/01) pleaded guilty
    Luke Gaukroger (D.o.B. 16/7/04)

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