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Boy rapped about knives and drugs to his grandmother aged 9 – and became a machete killer at 12

In Europe
June 11, 2024

One of Britain’s youngest killers rapped about knives and drugs in front of his grandmother aged just nine, it has emerged.

The boy, who was one of two 12-year-olds found guilty on Monday of the brutal murder of teenager Shawn Seesahai with a machete, was such a menace to his local area that a neighbour barricaded his home with barbed wire and metal bars.

He, along with his friend, are believed to be the 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. They are also thought to be the UK’s youngest knife murderers ever.

Even after he was arrested, the boy drew pictures of knives while in custody, which prosecutors said showed his interest in deadly weapons.

But his obsession with crime and violence appeared to develop years beforehand.

In an Instagram video unearthed by The Telegraph, the youngster can be heard rapping along to Loading by Central Cee, a song that mentions “pokers”,  UK slang for a knife, and “plugs”, referring to drug dealers.

Influenced by jailed drill star

In the footage, the boy is wearing bandanas on his head and over his mouth and puts up a gun sign with his hand.

Watching as he sings the violent lyrics is his grandmother, with whom he lived.

He later went on to be influenced by jailed drill musician SJ who rapped about “swinging a blade” and “ripping through guts”.

Residents in Wolverhampton living near where the two 12-year-olds carried out the brutal machete attack said on Tuesday that the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, plagued the local area.

They painted a picture of a “nasty piece of work”, whom they accused of damaging street lights, pinching scooters and posting fireworks through letterboxes.

Regularly skipping school, he would ride across the local playing fields on a mountain bike and loiter outside shops and alleyways long into the night as part of a gang of youngsters of similar age, they said.

The neighbour's CCTV warning on his fence

The neighbour’s CCTV warning on his fence – Jay Williams

One told The Telegraph: “He was coming back at four o’clock in the morning. I thought why was a 12-year-old coming back at four o’clock in the morning?

“You could see he was carrying a knife. I told the police he was carrying and I told the social services he was carrying a knife.

“He was out every night of the week. He was in gangs. Gang members would be in that alley waiting for him.

“I don’t want him breaking into my house when I’m out. I barbed-wired it all. I screened the window.

“His friend was always with him. They were always together, pinching, night after night. Scum, that’s all he was.”

A nasty piece of work

Another neighbour added: “I can’t believe that the force that was used would have come from someone so tiny. He was a thoroughly nasty piece of work.”

Mr Seesahai, 19, who had only been in the country for six months and was originally from the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the Caribbean, was attacked as he discussed plans for Christmas with a friend in a park in Wolverhampton last November.

The fatal wound to his back was more than 8in deep and the machete blade, which was nearly 17 inches long, went through his heart and almost came out of his chest.

Tributes have poured in for the victim, including from his former school, Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School in Anguilla.

Victim was ‘a sweet person’

A staff member at the school told The Telegraph: “At the very beginning I just knew him to be a sweet person.

“He occasionally got into trouble with other kids, things like loitering in the hallways, but it was nothing alarming.”

Shortly before the fatal encounter, his attackers, who “often” carried a machete, were passing it between one another at Stowlawn playing fields in East Park, Wolverhampton.

The victim’s friend told the trial he was forced to run for his life but Mr Seesahai stumbled as he tried to flee from the boys.

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.

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.

Jurors heard one of the defendants posed for a photograph with the murder weapon, wearing a mask, hours before the killing. He 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 area of blood staining on his right trainer.

The youth who owned the black-bladed machete was incriminated by his heavily bloodstained clothing and man-bag. He said he bought the machete for £40 from a “friend of a friend” who he refused to name, but police said there was evidence he had searched for knives online.

His hoodie, found by police inside out and mixed in with other clothes in a washing basket, was bloodstained on the front of the right sleeve, the front and back of the left sleeve, the right chest and the lower left front.

Officers searched a storage space under a bed and recovered a machete. A tracksuit with apparent blood stains on it was also seized from a laundry basket at one of the schoolboys’ homes.

‘Kids are dangerous now’

In an interview  after the verdicts, Mr Seesahai’s parents Suresh and Maneshwary have said they will 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 said: “This world is a different world, kids are dangerous now. If we don’t pay attention to them, this will keep happening.”

Mrs 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.

“Before that, they do their school work and have a little rest.”

Last month, police chiefs said that illegal dealers were selling weapons to under-18s via social media channels, including TikTok, Snapchat and those run by Meta.

Some teenagers, often those involved in drug dealing, want to buy large-status weapons like zombie knives or machetes.

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