A 15-year-old boy has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for stabbing to death a 14-year-old boy outside a McDonald’s in a broad daylight revenge attack.
Dea-John Reid died after being "hunted down" by a gang when he went out to play football on May 31 last year. The schoolboy had a blade plunged into his chest before he collapsed in the street and was pronounced dead in Kingstanding.
A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter following a trial in March. Today (Friday, May 6) he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in youth custody at Birmingham Crown Court.
What was said at court?
The court heard Dea-John was chased down and fatally stabbed after the killer armed himself with a knife.
The youth was driven around the Kingstanding area looking for Dea-John, who was chased into a park and racially abused from the car.
After being stabbed Dea-John lifted up his t-shirt, shuddered and collapsed before his attacker fled leaving him behind to die.
The court heard the attack was in retaliation for one of the group being mugged for his bag.
Prosecutor Richard Wormald QC said a gang had hunting him down "like a pack chasing down their prey" in a "plan to seek retribution".
Michael Shields, 36, George Khan, 39, and a two other youths were all cleared of murder while Hollie Davies, 36, was found not guilty of assisting an offender.
What did West Midlands Police say about the case?
Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, of West Midlands Police, said afterwards: “Dea-John was a 14-year-old boy - just a child with his whole life ahead of him.
“He had no convictions or cautions; he was an innocent boy.
“To have lost his life in such an appalling way, shattering all the hopes his family had to see him grow up, is absolutely tragic.
“I can’t imagine what it must feel like for the family, not only to lose a son in such tragic circumstances, but then to also sit through that trial, seeing graphic CCTV of your child’s last moments played out in a court room.
“We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to bring this case before a jury, which returned its verdicts.”
What has Dea- John’s mum said about her loss?
In a heartbreaking statement, Dea-John’s mother Joan Morris said: “Dea-John Reid my son, my handsome son, is no longer with us.
“He was my son, a brother, an uncle and a nephew, a cousin, and a friend.
“Monday, 31st May 2021 will be a day in my life that I will never forget.
"After seeing my son bouncing around with life, he went out to play football and never returned despite me speaking to him at approximately 7pm on the evening of 31st of May 2021, telling me that he would be home in 40 minutes, which never came.
“The only call I had was from a friend telling me that my son had been hurt in Kingstanding and that I should make my way there which I duly did, only to see in the middle of College Road a blue tent behind a police cordon for which I was told my son was lying on the ground underneath the tent dead as he had been stabbed. Being told that I cannot go and see my son or cuddle him.
"Suddenly, my youngest baby at the tender age of 14 had gone and all I was being told is that I cannot even see him. The next time I saw him was in a mortuary in Coventry.
“It dawned upon me that my son Dea-John, a budding footballer someone who wanted to be a dentist had been torn away out of my life breaking my heart into pieces, by the actions of others, forever.
“Dea- John used to be there for me, he would make me a cup of tea, get my medication. We had a fantastic relationship, which was abruptly destroyed by the actions of others.
“The final act of love I could show to my son was to ensure he had the send-off which he deserved.
“Whilst members of the perpetrator’s family will be able to visit their loved one and eventually see him released back in the community, my only visit to Dea-John, is to a grave in a cemetery.
“My only reunion with Dea-John may well be if I am still in this country, to join him in his grave when the Lord calls me home.”
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