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Two 12-year-old boys who murdered stranger with machete are ‘UK’s youngest knife killers’

In Europe
June 10, 2024

Two 12-year-old boys who used a machete to mercilessly stab an “utterly defenceless” teenager have been found guilty of murder.

On Monday, jurors unanimously convicted the youths, who 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 had attacked Shawn Seesahai, 19, who was unarmed when he and his friend were set upon while walking through Stowlawn playing fields in Wolverhampton on 13 November last year.

Jurors heard one of the defendants regularly carried a machete, and the two had been seen “passing it between themselves” before carrying out the lethal attack.

Despite doing nothing to offend his killers, Mr Seeshai was shoulder-barged and then hit so hard on the skull that a piece of bone came away. He also suffered a fatal 23cm-deep stab wound which almost went the whole way through his body.

Shawn Seesahai had travelled to the UK for eye surgery and was living in Birmingham (West Midlands Police)

Shawn Seesahai had travelled to the UK for eye surgery and was living in Birmingham (West Midlands Police)

In an interview released after the verdicts, Mr Seesahai’s parents Suresh and Maneshwary said they will never be able to get over the loss of their 19-year-old son who always told them he would “shine” and take care of them.

Speaking for the first time since their son was murdered, Suresh Seesahai said he feels sorry for the parents of the killers and only hopes that “justice” is served for his son.

Both the defendants, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had screenshots of knives on their phones and had researched articles about the killing. One of them had also searched online for “how many criminal records can you have to leave the country” on 14 November, the day after the attack.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that 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.

On 13 November, he had travelled with friends to Wolverhampton, while the two 12-year-olds were together from 4.10pm that afternoon, meeting two girls of around the same age who are witnesses in the case.

After spending time sitting with a friend on a bench and walking near basketball courts, the court heard Mr Seesahai and his friend “came together” with the defendants as the boys passed the machete between them, with one commenting: “Keep stepping.”

Floral tributes left at the scene in Stowlawn playing fields in Wolverhampton (PA Archive)

Floral tributes left at the scene in Stowlawn playing fields in Wolverhampton (PA Archive)

The weapon had been taken out of one of the boys’ trousers and was made available to be used, despite the fact Mr Seesahai had offered no violence.

His friend who was with him at the time of the attack told police that one of the boys had deliberately shoulder-brushed his victim, before producing the weapon and launching their attack.

Michelle Heeley KC told the court: “The prosecution says 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.

“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.”

After the killing, Mr Seesahai’s friend called the police, who attended and began to carry out CPR but it was apparent from the severity of the injuries suffered that he was already dead.

The scene after Seesahai had been stabbed to death (Stephanie Wareham/PA Wire)

The scene after Seesahai had been stabbed to death (Stephanie Wareham/PA Wire)

The two boys had denied the charge and blamed each other for his death, while one had admitted possession of the machete used in the attack.

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, wearing a mask, with the murder weapon for a picture hours before the killing and was found to have 11 areas of bloodstaining on his clothing.

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

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

Maneshwary 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.

Detective Inspector Damian Forrest, who led the investigation, said: “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.”

Jonathan Roe, senior crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, said: “Shawn Seesahai was an incredibly brave young man who had a world of opportunities at his feet.

“Shawn suffered traumatic injuries after being ruthlessly targeted by defendants who had a fixation with violence and were roaming the streets looking for a potential victim.

“This was a horrifying and random act of brutality, perpetrated by two 12-year-olds who should not have been spending their time arming themselves with a machete and preparing to take a life.”

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