Express & Star

How a community reacted in the wake of Shawn Seesahai's murder

Kind residents stunned at the killing on their doorsteps hastily organised a candle-lit vigil in tribute to stranger Shawn Seesahai.

Around 100 Stowlawn residents attend the candlelit vigil in tribute to Shawn Seesahaiwho was stabbed while vising the playing fields.

Around 100 of them turned up carrying armfuls of beautiful flowers and cards covered with poignant messages at the emotional event organised by Katie Nicholls.

Shawn Seesahai - Family album

They had no idea who the 19-year-old was, but were moved into offering a heartfelt show of support to his family who were living overseas and to his friends with whom he had taken the tram from Birmingham to Wolverhampton on that fateful day.

The vigil was held at Stowlawn Playing Fields off Green Park Avenue on November 19 and was led by church and community stalwarts.

Balvant Patel, president of the Bilston Hindu Association, and Rev Simon Skidmore, of Bilston's St Leonard's Church were among those to address the crowd.

Mr Patel led the community in a prayer and said: "This was a tragic event that has befallen our community and a young life has been snuffed out senselessly but we hope God will look after him and give strength to his family who are many miles away at the moment.

"We have to hope it will act as a catalyst to make sure this doesn't happen again and only by building bridges within the community, something that we have seen here and reaching out to young people will this happen.

"I hope it doesn't mean this area will get a bad reputation as there is plenty of good people and initiatives going on here as can be seen by the amount of people who are here and are paying their respects."

Mr Skidmore added: "Shawn's life has been tragically cut short, when he had everything to live for. He loved his family and they will be feeling the pain and suffering of his death most of all.

"His death has been a great shock to the community in Stow Heath, Stowlawn, and beyond and will be felt in the days and weeks to come but it has brought us together here."

An overseas online appeal also raised £3,600 towards the cost of repatriating Shawn's body to the Caribbean where he was laid to rest on the tiny island of St Maarten near Anguilla where he was from.

Two 12-year-old boys were today found guilty of murdering him in an area of open land off Laburnum Road in Stowlawn in Bilston.

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