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Machete killer, 12, posed for social media portrait with murder weapon tucked into his trousers

In Europe
June 11, 2024

A 12-year-old who murdered an “utterly defenceless” teenager posed for a picture with the murder weapon tucked into his trousers hours before the killing.

Dressed in a grey hooded tracksuit, black coat and balaclava, the weapons-obsessed schoolboy posted the image on Snapchat on the day he cut down 19-year-old Shawn Seesahai with a machete alongside his accomplice of the same age.

Even after he was arrested, the boy maintained his obsession with blades, drawing pictures of knives while in custody, which prosecutors said showed his interest in deadly weapons.

The pair have become the youngest people to be convicted of murder since Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were detained over the torture and murder of James Bulger in 1993.

Mr Seesahai, who had only been in the country 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 in November last year.

The fatal wound to his back was more than 20cm deep and the blade went through his heart and almost came out of his chest.

He died at the scene after being hacked by the nearly 17in-long (42.5cm) blade and beaten by his attackers, who are also believed to be the youngest boys to have committed a knife-related murder in the UK.

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

Earlier that day, the youth with an obsession for knives had posted pictures of the blade on social media.

The boy,  whose grandmother has previously been charged over cocaine smuggling, forwarded the image to his girlfriend and his accomplice alongside a song by a drill rapper who was also convicted of murder using a machete.

In the hours after the murder, the same youth, who admitted unlawful possession of the machete but denied any other wrongdoing, was given a lift home by a family member. He bleached his machete and hid it under his bed but messages on Snapchat revealed he was unworried about the repercussions of the murder.

Shawn Seesahai

Shawn Seesahai was punched, kicked, stamped on and ‘chopped’ at with the machete – Press Association Images

Prosecutors told the court that “prior to this offence, officers had recovered knives” from his home address and that “this was a young man who enjoyed possessing knives”.

Neither boy has any previous convictions, cautions or reprimands, but police said after the case that the youth who hid the murder weapon had been “dealt with” previously over an incident of theft not related to knives.

In social media exchanges involving his co-defendant and a girl witness who later attended a police station with her mother to make a statement, the knife-obsessed boy said of the stabbing: “It is what it is.”

He wrote on Snapchat that he was not scared and added “idrc” – text message shorthand for “I don’t really care”.

The chat had begun with a video of the scene and the words “someone got stabbed” before his accomplice said “everybody talking about it. Literally everyone. Everyone knows.”

“I aint said nowt cause everytime I talk about it, like I act weird apparently,” he added.

While his co-defendant appeared more worried, police found the boy who owned the machete happily watching television at home when they arrested him the night after the killing.

He was given a formal caution advising him of his rights, and responded: “What murder? Why would I kill someone?” and “I haven’t done anything.”

Both defendants wore a shirt and tie to give their evidence, accompanied by intermediaries, having been allowed to sit in the well of the court near relatives rather than in the dock.

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.

A machete was found under the bed of one of the defendants by the police

A machete was found under the bed of one of the defendants by the police – West Midlands Police

Prosecutors told jurors that the boys had screenshots on their phones of knives like the one used in the murder and had searched online for news articles about the attack.

Mobile phone images also revealed multiple images of large knives and weapons including one showing long knives and swords on a bed.

One of the defendants had an image of a sword on his mobile phone

One of the defendants had an image of a sword on his mobile phone – West Midlands Police

In an online search, one of the killers asked: “How many criminal records can you have to leave the country”.

The case echoes another recent knife crime tragedy in which 17-year-old Rayis Nibeel was found to have bought 65 knives online and sold them for profit in the few months before he murdered Omar Khan, 38, in a dispute over drugs in Luton in September last year.

Detective Inspector Damian Forrest, who led the Wolverhampton investigation, said the youths had shown an obsession with a weapon that there was no need to have.

“The weapon was a large machete that really no person who doesn’t need it as a tool of their trade should have any reason to own.

“Obviously, originally it would be a gardening tool. Although the facts of this case mean we can’t say for certain how that weapon came into the possession of the suspects, there is some evidence that suggests that one of them had tried to purchase knives on the internet.”

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.

Commander Stephen Clayman, the national lead for policing knife crime, said the accessibility of knives online was “a really concerning picture” for law enforcement.

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