The Telegraph 2024-06-11 00:00:58

Boys, 12, guilty of machete attack are youngest murderers since James Bulger killers

Two 12-year-old boys found guilty of murdering a 19-year-old are thought to be the youngest killers to be convicted since James Bulger’s murder.

Jurors unanimously convicted the youths, who are believed to be the youngest boys to have committed a knife-related murder in the UK, on Monday of the murder of Shawn Seesahai.

A month-long trial at Nottingham Crown Court was told Mr Seesahai was killed in November 2023 after encountering his killers in a park in Wolverhampton. 

He was shoulder-barged by the smaller of the two defendants, who “often” carried a machete with a 42.5cm-long blade, before being punched, kicked, stamped on and “chopped” at with the weapon – despite Mr Seesai and his friend doing “nothing wrong”.

Mr Seesahai, a stranger to the two boys, was pronounced dead at 9.11pm after police and paramedics were called to the scene.

The youths are believed to be the youngest defendants convicted of murder in Britain since Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were found guilty in 1993 of killing two-year-old Bulger. Bulger’s killers were both 10 at the time of the murder, and 11 when convicted. 

Family members of both Mr Seesahai and the defendants cried and hugged each other in the public gallery as the jurors found both boys guilty of murder and one guilty of possessing a bladed article. Speaking for the first time since their son was murdered, Mr Seesahai’s father said he felt sorry for the parents of the killers and only hoped that “justice” was served for his son.

Victim ‘stumbled’ as he ran from killers

At the start of the trial, Michelle Heeley KC, prosecuting, told the court Mr Seesahai, who lived in Handsworth in Birmingham but was originally from Anguilla in the Caribbean, had travelled to the UK to receive treatment for cataracts.

Ms Heeley said the weapon had been taken out of one of the boys’ trousers and was made available to be used “despite the fact Shawn Seesahai and his friends had offered no violence, nor done anything to offend [the youths]”.

A friend of the victim told the trial he was forced to run for his life but Mr Seesahai stumbled as he tried to flee from the boys on Wolverhampton’s Stowlawn playing fields on Nov 13 last year.

The court heard that the friend managed to escape and looked back to see Mr Seesahai on the ground, having tripped on a grassed area.

Although the friend did not see the “vicious attack” that ensued, Ms Heeley said a teenage girl who had been with the 12-year-olds told police that both had been in possession of the machete and one often carried it.

The witness described seeing one boy pick up the machete and hold it in the air.

Ms Heeley added: “She told police she saw [a defendant] using the machete on Mr Seesahai’s legs, and also saw [the other defendant] punching and stamping on his head.

“The prosecution say the two boys were engaged in a joint attack upon a man who had done nothing wrong, a man with no weapon, who was utterly defenceless on the ground.

“We say that these two boys were acting together and meant to kill Mr Seesahai, at the very least they intended to cause really serious harm.”

She added: “As a result of their actions, Shawn Seesahai died at the scene. He had been hit so hard to the skull with the machete that a piece of bone had actually come away.

“He had slash wounds on his leg and most significantly he had an injury from the machete that went through his body all the way from his back, through his ribs and into his heart.”

Defendants blamed each other for fatal blow

After refusing to answer police questions in the aftermath of the murder, the boys both gave evidence to jurors, blaming each other for inflicting the fatal blow.

Jurors heard one of the defendants had posed, wearing a mask, with the murder weapon for a picture hours before the killing, and was found to have 11 areas of blood staining on his clothing.

The boy was also seen with blood on his hands in the aftermath of the murder, while his friend had a small blood stain on his right trainer.

As well as failing to summon help for Mr Seesahai, the youths showed no remorse for what they had done in the 24 hours before their arrest, with one cleaning the machete with bleach and hiding it under his bed.

They told the court they both played video games in the hours after the killing, claiming they did not know Mr Seesahai had died until the following day.

Judge Mrs Justice Tipples thanked the jury at the High Court for their “hard work and determination” in what had been a “tragic and distressing case”after their verdicts were delivered on Monday afternoon.

Parents question why 12 -year-old had a machete

In an interview released after the verdicts, Mr Seesahai’s parents, Suresh and Maneshwary, said they would never be able to get over the loss of their son, who always told them he would “shine” and take care of them.

Mr Seesahai’s parents questioned how a child so young could have a weapon like a machete with them as they walked the streets.

Suresh Seesahai said: “This world is a different world, kids are dangerous now. If we don’t pay attention to them this will keep happening.”

Maneshwary Seesahai added: “Twelve-year-old kids should be at home doing school work and then going to bed. I have two children and at 7.30pm they had to go to bed because they have to follow the rules of the house.”

The couple, who also have a teenage daughter, told of the moment they were told their son had been stabbed to death.

Mrs Seesahai said: “I got a call from Shawn’s friend who was staying with him. He told me Shawn had been stabbed and I just started crying.

“I told my husband and he asked for the phone to find out what had happened.”

Mr Seesahai added: “She kept saying that Shawn had been stabbed, I asked her what she meant and then she handed me the phone.

“I asked if Shawn was OK and he said that he was not, that he had passed away.

“About 30 minutes later I got a call from the police who asked if I was Shawn’s father and if I could spell Shawn’s name out. I said ‘yes’ and did, they told me they had bad news – that my son had been stabbed and had passed away.

“Getting a call like that is not nice for anyone. I tried to keep myself up but getting a message like that was not easy.”

The boys are expected to be sentenced in July.

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LIVE Labour declines to rule out raising capital gains tax if elected

The Labour Party has declined to rule out raising capital gains tax if it wins the general election.

When asked at a press conference on Monday if increasing the tax would be used to fund Labour’s manifesto, Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, did not deny it.

“Under a Labour government, there will be no increase in income tax, no increase in national insurance, no increase in VAT,” he said. “Nothing in our plans requires additional tax to be raised.”

Mr Ashworth also did not rule out using borrowing to pay for Labour’s manifesto commitments and he did not rule out increases to university tuition fees.

The Labour manifesto will be launched on Thursday.

You can follow the latest updates below and join the conversation in the comments section here

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LIVE Macron should retire to ‘ash heap’ of history, says Kremlin

Emmanuel Macron should ‘retire to the ash heap of history’ after he suffered a humiliating defeat in the European elections, said Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president.

Mr Macron was trounced by the hard right in the European Union vote last night winning just 14.56 per cent compared with Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, which came top with 31.47 per cent.

Mr Macron called for a snap election to be held at the end of the month in response to the defeat. 

Writing on X, Mr Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, said: “Well, well, respected by no one Macron and Scholtz, have you seen the EU parliament elections results? They come as a reflection of your inept policy of providing support to authorities in Ukraine at the cost of your own citizens, your idiotic economic and migration policy! Wait and see what comes next! Time to retire. To the ash heap of history!

Mr Macron’s plan to send French and Nato soldiers into Ukraine to train Kyiv’s forces has provoked fury in Russia. 

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s chief spokesman, said insurgent hard-Right parties will plague the EU in the next parliament. They will ‘step on’ the heels of the bloc, Mr Peskov said, despite the overall success of mainstream political parties. 

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Michael Mosley ‘died of heat exhaustion’

Dr Michael Mosley is believed to have died of heat exhaustion after losing consciousness while walking in 40C temperatures, Greek police say.

An initial examination, based on CCTV footage and forensic evidence, suggests he died of natural causes, The Telegraph understands.

Police have ruled out any possibility of foul play or criminality, according to sources.

Officers are also investigating CCTV footage that appears to show Dr Mosley disappearing from view as he makes his way down a hillside, close to where his body was later found on the island of Symi.

Dimos Kotsidaras, police commander for Symi, said it is believed “the cause of death was heat exhaustion after walking from St Nikolos to Agia Marina in high temperatures”.

The details come as Rishi Sunak joined close friends in paying tribute to Dr Mosley

Downing Street said he was an “extraordinary broadcaster” who had a “huge impact” on people’s lives.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The reports from the weekend are heartbreaking and our thoughts are with Dr Michael Mosley’s family, his wife Clare and friends, in what must be deeply sad times.

“We have seen some incredibly touching tributes which have made clear the huge impact that Dr Mosley had on people and helped to transform people’s lives for the better.

“He will be known as an extraordinary broadcaster who used his platform to influence and change the way we think about many public health issues.”

Meanwhile, three close friends of Dr Mosley laid a single flower on the mountainside where he was found.

A woman and two men sailed on a small private boat on Monday morning to the beach resort of Agia Marina.

Dr Mosley was found 50 yards away from the resort on Sunday morning, five days after his wife reported him missing.

The group were seen tentatively making their way over the rocks towards the site where Dr Mosley was discovered by a bar manager.

Visibly distressed, the group laid a single-stemmed white and pink Oleander and were seen hugging and consoling each other for around 20 minutes.

One of the party was a young male British volunteer who had helped search the island for Dr Mosley.

The Oleander has poetic significance in Greek mythology. According to one legend, Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, is wooed by a young man called Leander, who swims across the Hellespont every night to see her.

One night during a violent storm he is dashed against sharp rocks and washes up on the beach.

Dr Mosley’s body lay undiscovered just yards from a beach resort, as his wife said he “so very nearly made it” to safety.

CCTV footage shows Dr Mosley gingerly walking down a rocky mountain near the perimeter fence of the Agia Marina resort before he appears to stumble and fall out of view, just over two hours after he left his wife and friends.‌

His wife, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley, paid tribute to her “wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband”.

She said: “We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team.”

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Prince Louis advises England team to eat double portions ahead of Euros

Prince Louis has urged the England team to eat “twice the amount” they usually eat to best prepare for the Euros.

The Prince of Wales passed on his six-year-old son’s advice as he met Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad at its St George’s Park training ground on Monday before they fly to Germany for the tournament, which begins on Friday.

Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, revealed that he had asked his three children on the school run what he should say to the team.

“The best bit of advice I got to tell you was to eat twice the amount you normally would eat,” he said.

“So I then had visions of you running around, massive great tummies and loads of stitches on the pitch… so I think maybe take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt, particularly around the physio team.”

Instead, the Prince warned them that it was going to be challenging and that the England team “has a target on its back”.

Talent alone would not win the tournament, he added, as he urged the squad to dig deep and to draw on inspirations from home, their childhood and their families. “Whatever it is, get that in you right now,” he said.

“Build up on it, pump yourself up because you never know when you might need it.”

The Prince said: “Tournament football is brutal and it requires a lot more than you’ve already given.

“You’ve had a long old season as it is and we’re going to ask you to go again.

“It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be everything that you’ve ever dreamed of, you know wearing that England shirt, and all the experiences you’ve had at club football… you’re going to have to draw on those experiences you’ve had at club football are going to have to be in the back of your head.

“And I just really want you guys to know how much it means to everyone back here, that you go out there, you give it your all, you play for the shirt, play for each other, play for the country, because everyone’s behind you.

“We really care about what you’re going to do.”

Asked what he thought about Prince Louis’s suggestion, captain Harry Kane joked: “I don’t think our nutritionist will be happy with that advice.”

He said the Prince’s visit was “great” and would give the team “extra motivation”.

Of the upcoming tournament he said there was “one more job to do” to go “one more step from last year”.

“We know how much it means to the country and the fans. The nation comes together at this moment.”

Asked about the England team’s 1-0 loss to Iceland on Friday, Kane added: “Of course we were disappointed after that game. I’m sure we will look back at the game where we can improve.

“No one ever likes losing but we want to get on with it. The morale is good.”

Prince William told the squad that the whole country was behind them and that he would be watching every single game as he wished them the very best of luck.

He said Southgate had instilled a sense of “togetherness” in his team.

“I really feel that you’re a unit,” he added. “You fight for each other, you play for each other and you really care about putting that shirt on.”

The Prince was due to chat to Southgate, England’s head coach, about how the team has been preparing for the tournament and to present a shirt to each player.

To mark the team’s send off, schools from across the Midlands were also invited to St George’s Park, the National Football Centre in Burton-on-Trent, to attend a festival of football, playing friendly fixtures against each other.

The Prince, accompanied by Southgate, was expected to drop in on the tournament to watch play and meet some of those taking part.

The heir to the throne is an ardent football supporter and is hugely respected and liked by the players.

Last month, the Prince took his elder son, Prince George, to Wembley to watch Manchester United take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

Father and son donned matching navy suits, white shirts and striped ties as they watched United eventually emerge as the victors with a 2-1 win.

They beamed as they presented the cup and medals to the winners and awarded runners-up medals to members of the City squad.

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Sandhurst cadet found dead in car with shotgun

A talented officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was found dead in a car with a shotgun.

Edward Milner, aged in his early 20s, was found inside a car off a country road in West Sussex along with the gun on May 6.

Police had received reports of a car leaving the carriageway of the A286 near Midhurst, just 30 miles from Sandhurst.

He was confirmed dead at the scene and his death is not being treated as suspicious, police said.

Milner was about to start his final term at the military academy previously attended by Princes William and Harry.

He belonged to Sandhurst’s New College and was returning from a period of leave when his body was found, according to Mail Online.

Talented graduate

He is reported to have been an economics graduate who previously attended Cardiff University and Sherborne, public school in Dorset where fees are as high as £16,000 a term.

Milner is also said to have been a talented sportsman, having excelled at cricket and rugby while at Sherborne.

A file on his death was passed to the local coroner, who has opened and adjourned an inquest, where senior Army figures could be called to give evidence.

The Ministry of Defence told the Mail: “The circumstances surrounding his death are being looked into by the coroner and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Milner’s death comes after another Sandhurst cadet, Olivia Perks, 21, took her own life in her bedroom at the Royal Military Academy.

A subsequent inquest found that the Army could have prevented her suicide had she been adequately safeguarded. Her parents called on the Army to ban the academy’s “toxic” drinking culture after the inquest revealed that Ms Perks had “drank to excess”.

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Man ‘with handgun’ dies after standoff with armed police

A man has died in hospital following a 10-hour standoff with armed police.

West Yorkshire Police arrived at the scene of a “domestic incident” in Stanningley, Leeds, at 12.35pm on Sunday.

Officers saw a man with what appeared to be a handgun and withdrew to allow negotiations to take place, a police spokesman said.

Pictures showed armed police, armoured vehicles and a bomb squad outside a property during the incident.

The road was cordoned off while negotiations took place.

Witnesses reported a man hanging out from an upstairs window.

At around 10.50pm, officers stormed the house.

The man was found critically injured and pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

The force said: “A police operation that was ongoing at an address in Half Mile Green, Stanningley, Leeds, has concluded.

“The man involved was taken to hospital in a critical condition and later pronounced dead.

“An alarm was raised just after 12.36pm, with dozens of officers from multiple units descending to the housing unit.

“But they withdrew on seeing a male at the address in possession of what appeared to be a handgun.

“At about 10.50pm, armed officers forced entry to the address, deploying distraction devices, and found the man critically injured.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance for emergency treatment but was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.”

The force has said it has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and has declared an independent investigation.

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