Knife toll: Teenagers and children who stabbed other young people to death

There have been a number of high profile cases this year where young people have killed others with knives.

Sam Hall
Friday 21 June 2024 17:34 BST
Examples of ‘zombie knives’ at a secure police location in Birmingham (Joe Giddens / PA).
Examples of ‘zombie knives’ at a secure police location in Birmingham (Joe Giddens / PA). (PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A judge has called for a “vitally important debate” about a “scourge of knife crime” among young people.

Official figures show that knife crime rose by 7% in England and Wales in the year to December 2023, compared with the previous 12 months, but the total 49,489 offences recorded remained below pre-pandemic levels.

This year, there have been numerous examples of teenagers and children being found guilty and sentenced for stabbing other young people to death.

– Horsforth, West Yorkshire

Alfie Lewis, 15, was stabbed to death in full view of pupils leaving a primary school in the Horsforth area of Leeds last November by Bardia Shojaeifard, who was 14 at the time.

Shojaeifard was found guilty of murdering Alfie by a Leeds Crown Court jury in April.

Mr Justice Cotter said Shojaeifard, who is now 15, was an “outwardly normal” boy with a “worrying interest in knives”.

Shojaeifard stabbed Alfie through the heart on the way home from school and in June was detained for life with a minimum term of 13 years.

– Warnham, West Sussex

Charlie Cosser, 17, was stabbed three times in the chest in a marquee in the grounds of a farmhouse at a private party attended by more than 100 people in Warnham, West Sussex, on July 23 2023.

His killer, Yura Varybrus, who was 16 at the time, was found guilty in June of murder and having a bladed article following a trial at Brighton Crown Court.

Charlie’s dad, Martin Cosser, said the 17-year-old defendant’s minimum term of 16 years, minus 328 days already spent in custody, was “not enough”.

Since Charlie’s death, his family have set up a charity called Charlie’s Promise, dedicated to fighting knife crime.

– Wormwood Scrubs Park, London

A teenager was found guilty in June of murdering a 17-year-old in broad daylight before pushing him into a canal in west London.

Victor Lee was stabbed twice in the back and once in the chest on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal, near Wormwood Scrubs Park, on June 25 last year.

Elijah Gokool-Mely, 18, was convicted of murder after a jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for more than 16 hours.

– Wolverhampton, West Midlands

Two 12-year-old boys were thought to have become the youngest knife murderers in the UK after being found guilty in June of a brutal machete attack on a teenager who was stabbed through the heart in a Wolverhampton park.

Jurors unanimously convicted the youths, who are believed to be youngest defendants convicted of murder in Britain since Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both aged 11, were found guilty in 1993 of killing two-year-old James Bulger.

A month-long trial at Nottingham Crown Court was told Shawn Seesahai, 19, 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.

– Halifax, West Yorkshire

A teenager who stabbed three men, killing two, after an argument over a girl in a club has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years by a judge who said the case illustrated “the tragic consequences which can follow when a young man carries a knife in public”.

Rashane Douglas, 19, stabbed Haidar Shah, 19, Joshua Clark, 21, and Brandon Coupe, 18, in the chest within seconds of each other following a row outside a nightclub in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the early hours of October 1 last year.

Mr Shah and Mr Clark died from their stab wounds, while Mr Coupe survived.

Douglas was jailed for life in June with a minimum term of 28 years by Judge Jonathan Rose at Bradford Crown Court.

– Bath, Somerset

Three teenagers who killed a promising young rapper at a 16th birthday party were detained in May as a judge warned of a “plague of knife crime”.

Shane Cunningham fatally stabbed Mikey Roynon, 16, in the neck with a large knife during a house party in Bath, Somerset, in June last year.

Cunningham, 16 at time of sentencing, was convicted of murder while his two friends, Cartel Bushnell and Leo Knight, were found guilty of Mikey’s manslaughter, after a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Cunningham was given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years’ detention, while Bushnell and Knight, both 16 at time of sentencing, were given nine years and nine-and-a-half years in youth detention respectively.

Mr Justice Saini said: “As I said at the trial, Bristol and its surrounding areas are in the middle of a plague of knife crime.

“The plague has continued since this trial finished. The lives of young boys who carry knives continue to be taken at the hands of other boys who carry knives.”

– Newham, London

Police warned how “easy” it is for teenagers to buy weapons and urged parents to check purchases after a youth killed a 16-year-old boy with a “ninja-style” sword.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty in May of murder following a trial at the Old Bailey, after slashing Rahaan Ahmed Amin in the chest in West Ham Park in Newham, east London on July 9 in retribution for an earlier stabbing.

It emerged that an identical red knife to the weapon used in the killing had been ordered on the internet in the weeks before the attack, according to Scotland Yard.

– Newcastle, Tyne and Wear

A judge criticised drill music as a “pernicious genre” after it played a role in stoking violence between two gangs which led to a 14-year-old being fatally stabbed in the street.

Gordon Gault was stabbed on the arm with a machete as he rode on the back of a friend’s e-bike in Newcastle’s West End in November 2022 and died six days later in hospital.

Six teenagers went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court and were cleared of murder, but Carlos Neto, of Salford, Greater Manchester, and Lawson Natty, of Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, were convicted of manslaughter in March.

Neto stabbed Gordon in a surprise attack, jurors heard, while Natty was the one who supplied him with the machete he had bought online.

Mr Justice Martin Spencer sentenced Neto to nine years and two months while Natty, who was born in Belgium, was sentenced to 32 months, after which he could face deportation.

Both Neto and Natty were 18 at time of sentencing.

– Paddington, London

A 17-year-old boy was found guilty of manslaughter in February after another teenager was stabbed to death.

The youth, who cannot legally be identified, was convicted over the stabbing of 17-year-old Khaled Saleh in Paddington Green, west London, in June last year.

– Mile End, London

Two teenagers were jailed for life in February for murdering a boy at a birthday party.

Shea Gordon, 17, was stabbed repeatedly in the street just after midnight on September 4 2022 after he attended a party at a hall on Lichfield Road in Mile End, east London.

Abdul Yaro, 19 at time of sentencing, and Kavian Vaughans, 18 at time of sentencing, were convicted of his murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years.

Dainnan Witter-Cameron and Giovanni Addae-Johnson, both 18 at time of sentencing, were jailed for eight years for his manslaughter after being convicted following a trial last year.

– Walthamstow, London

A teenager who got out of a taxi and chased and stabbed a 16-year-old schoolboy was convicted of murder in February.

The teenager, who was 16 at the time of the attack on May 5 last year, was found guilty by a jury at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court of murdering Renell Charles.

Renell, 16, was killed shortly after the end of the school day in what police described as a “brutal attack” on Markhouse Road in Walthamstow.

– Warrington, Cheshire

A girl and a boy were given life sentences in February for the “sadistic” murder of teenager Brianna Ghey.

Brianna was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of February 11 last year.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Scarlett Jenkinson had “enjoyed” the killing.

Her accomplice, Eddie Ratcliffe, also expressed transphobia about his victim, Mrs Justice Yip ruled.

Jenkinson must serve a minimum of 22 years before parole and Ratcliffe 20 years.

Both were aged 15 when they carried out the plan to murder Brianna, 16.

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