Chris Philp calls for 12-year-old machete killers to be named

2024-06-18     HaiPress

Chris Philp: 'It's absolutely horrifying that this has happened'

Credit: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

Pressure to name the 12-year-old convicted machete killers has grown after the policing minister said it would be in the public interest to do so.

The children are thought to be the youngest knife murderers in the UK after they were found guilty of killing Shawn Seesahai,19, on Monday.

A judge will now consider whether to name the boys,who are also believed to be the youngest British murderers since Robert Thompson and Jon Venables,both aged 11,were found guilty in 1993 of killing two-year-old James Bulger.

Chris Philp,the policing minister,suggested on Thursday the pair could be named as it was an “exceptional” case.

Speaking on The Sun’s Never Mind the Ballots show,he said: “Thankfully,homicides by someone that young are exceptionally rare,as you say it is the first time it’s happened for around about 30 years,but it is absolutely shocking that two 12-year-olds did this.

“And it’s right they’ve been arrested,prosecuted and will be sentenced. It’s absolutely horrifying that this has happened.”

Asked if the pair should be named,he said: “Yes,obviously,conventionally people under 18 convicted don’t get publicly named because they’re children. It’s up to the judge to decide whether or not they should be.

“I think in exceptional cases,and this is obviously an exceptional case,I think the public interest may well be served by doing that,just to understand a bit more about the background to this and to learn lessons,how it can be prevented in the future.

“But it ultimately should be up to the judge.”

Shawn Seesahai had only been in the UK for six months when he was attacked

Children appearing in youth or crown courts in England,whether as a victim,witness or defendant,generally cannot be identified if they are under 18.

However,anonymity orders can be lifted by judges if they are below this age and have been convicted of serious crimes,as long as it is considered to be in the public interest.

Mrs Justice Amanda Tipples,who presided over the murder trial,has indicated that she will hear representations from the press on whether to name the killers at a later hearing.

Mr Seesahai,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 in November 2023.

Passed machete around

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

Shortly before the fatal encounter the 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.

This week it was revealed how one of the boys had rapped about knives and drugs aged just nine.

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

In court,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.

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