Gang member gets 17 years for murdering teenage cadet

A teenage gang member who knifed a 16-year-old army cadet through the heart was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years behind bars today.

James Moore, 17, was one of 10 young men who set upon Joseph Lappin and two friends as they visited a youth club in Liverpool in October 2008.



Moore, who pleaded guilty to the murder, and the other gang members, who admitted conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, were being sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.



Joseph, from Old Swan, Liverpool, was visiting the Shrewsbury House Youth Club in the Everton area of the city when he was unwittingly caught up in local gang rivalry.

The teenager, a member of the Liverpool Scottish Regiment, and his friends Callum Naden and Greg Harold, then both 17, were attending a band practice session and had never been to the Church of England-run youth club before.



All three were totally unsuspecting of the simmering feud which was taking place between two local gangs, the court heard.



As the boys stood outside the club, they were confronted by the defendants who had gone to Langrove Street looking for revenge following a fight between their gang and rivals earlier that day.



The 10-strong mob, who had their faces covered and were armed with weapons including batons, sticks and bottles as well as Moore's 4-inch (10cm) blade, attacked the boys even though they knew they were not the youths they were looking for.



The pack chased the three boys around the youth club building until they returned to the front doors and tried to get inside to safety.



But the doors were locked and the three boys were cornered as Moore, then aged 16, launched his frenzied attack and knifed Joseph through the heart and then Callum in the chest and leg.



Callum survived the attack but Joseph was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.











It emerged yesterday that Moore was known to police and the courts long before Joseph was attacked and killed.

In 2007, he was given an Asbo for terrorising his neighbours and local businesses but, the court was told, he breached it many times in the months leading up to the stabbing.



Moore, of Silvester Street, Vauxhall, Liverpool, also flouted referral orders and supervision orders imposed by the courts to punish him and rein him in.



But it was not until he was charged with Joseph's murder that he finally went to prison.



Mr Justice Henriques said: "Joseph Lappin, Callum Naden and Greg Harold went to Shrewsbury House to listen to their friends practise and play in a band.



"These three were decent, law-abiding young men.



"Joseph Lappin was a model son with a loving family. He was very popular, with many interests including sport and music.



"He was a kind and thoughtful son who any family would be proud of."



Moore showed no emotion as he was jailed at Her Majesty's Pleasure and told he would not be able to apply for parole for at least 17 years.



There was no separate sentence for the stabbing of Callum.



The judge said: "Callum had to watch his best friend bleed to death.



"Now he does not sleep, he has failed his AS-levels and has had to have counselling.



"It is truly shocking, even for those of us who attend court on a daily basis, that three such decent teenagers could be exposed to a pursuit, a chase and death."



Joseph's parents, John and Toni, who sat in the public gallery for each of the court hearings, sobbed as Moore was sent down.



Callum and Greg also attended the hearing with their parents.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine