Jack Woodley was targeted as he walked home (Picture: North News)
A pack of 10 teenagers who hunted down an 18-year-old and murdered him as he walked home from a funfair simply for the thrill of seriously hurting a stranger have been jailed for life.
Jack Woodley was ‘surrounded and isolated’ by the gang after they chased him down an alleyway in Houghton le Spring, Sunderland, last year.
He was punched, kicked, and stamped on before one of the cowardly killers pulled out a 25cm ‘Rambo style’ knife and plunged it into his back on October 16.
Mobile phone footage of the attack showed one of them shouting ‘get the chopper’ – referring to the blade – moments before the fatal blow was inflicted.
Prosecutors said the group had gone out ‘looking for serious trouble that day’ and tried to ‘create conflict’ with Mr Woodley at the festival as they ‘looked for any excuse to attack someone’.
On Friday, the 15-year-old who inflicted the fatal wound was detained for a minimum of 17 years.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the other nine defendants, aged between 14 and 18, to minimum terms of between eight and 15 years’ detention.
He told them that if they are then released, they will remain on licence for the rest of their lives.
The total minimum terms for all the defendants adds up to 124 years and six months.
Mr Woodley was battered by the gang before one of them stabbed him (Picture: North News & Pictures Ltd)
Nine of the youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied murder and manslaughter.
One pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting he stabbed Mr Woodley but denying he intended to kill him, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Mark McKone QC, prosecuting, told jurors that while only one youth stabbed Mr Woodley, the other nine were guilty due to ‘the concept of joint enterprise’.
Each intends to appeal against their convictions, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed this week.
Sentencing the group, the judge said: ‘No sentence can restore Jack to his family and loved ones, or reduce the pain they will endure now and in the future.
‘It may seem unfair that you will be able to live at liberty while still young men, while Jack cannot because of what you did.’
Mr Woodley’s devastated mum Zoe McGill and husband Chris (Picture: North News & Pictures Ltd)
Mr Woodley’s mum, Zoey McGill, said in a victim impact statement: ‘The devastation of losing Jack is immense and far reaching.
‘The trauma of reliving this whole incident over a long trial has had a devastating effect on us all. We cannot see a way of recovering from this. We feel imprisoned by our grief and trauma.
‘No parent, loved one or friend should suffer someone going to a fair and them forever.
‘We will never be able to share treasured family moments with our “cheeky chappy blue-eyed boy” ever again.’
Judge Jameson said Mr Woodley had been due to start a job the Monday …read more