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Wolverhampton murder: 'It's the first time in my career I have seen children this young carrying a machete'

"To have then found out that two 12-year-olds were responsible was shocking to all of us, it made us all stop and pause for a moment."

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Those are the words of Detective Inspector Damian Forrest who investigated the murder of Shawn Seesahai who was killed by two 12-year-old boys on Wolverhampton's Stowlawn playing fields.

The on-duty detective said it was the first time in his career he had dealt with a case where a child as young as 12 carried a machete and the horrifying case was so shocking that he, along with his team, had to take a moment to absorb the heartbreaking series of events that unfolded on the night.

Det Insp Forrest said he received a call alerting him to a young man who had been attacked and had life-threatening injuries.

The seasoned detective said it will take everyone in the community to stop similar cases from continuing across the region, admitting that the police alone won't be able to eradicate the knife crime epidemic.

Det Insp Damian Forrest said it was the first time in his career he had dealt with a case where a child as young as 12 carried a machete

Speaking about the case, and the night it happened, he said: "On the night we received a call saying that a young man had been attacked and had life threatening injuries.

"A short time after that we were told he had passed away at the scene.

"I was the on-call senior investigating officer for homicide, I went over and spent the rest of the night with my team to start the early building blocks of the investigation.

"Later the following day we had some information which allowed us to identify the two suspects in the case - and that they were 12 years old.

"I've been a police officer for 20 years and this isn't the first time I've been out to a young man who's lost his life in a really violent way.

"To have then found out that two 12-year-olds were responsible was shocking to all of us, it made us all stop and pause for a moment.

"But we have a really professional team with a lot of experience and gathered our thoughts swiftly.

“In my career I have not come across children as young as 12 carrying a machete, or a large knife like this being used in the manner described in court.

"We know there is knife crime within society and West Midlands Police are committed to dealing with it.

"We have initiatives like Operation Guardian in place, and extra funding from the Home Office to try and help stop the issue.

"We have moved to a more local operating model in the last 12 months that puts more police officers out on the streets engaging with the community.

"But it's not just a problem for the police, it’s for social services, the NHS, and most importantly friends, family and teachers.

"We need everyone to help in spotting the signs and doing the right thing when we think children are at risk from knives or could be carrying them thinking there is glory or a need to do so."

Shawn Seesahai

The weapon used on Shawn was a machete, and Det Insp Forrest said the weapon had no business being on a person or anyone who doesn't work in a trade that requires it.

He said: "It was a brutal attack on a young man who was just over with his friends in Wolverhampton.

"The level of injuries that he sustained ended his life, and reinforced the fact that there is no finesse to the application of a weapon like this.

"If a knife is used in a fight there's a very real chance that you’re going to cause serious life altering or life ending injuries - people need to be aware of those consequences.

"The weapon used was a large machete, that really no person who doesn't need it as a tool of their trade has any reason to own."

The detective went on to say that knife crime is a problem the force in committed to dealing with, and will continue to fight until residents across the region feel safe.

He said: "We’re dealing with a case here which is unique to my experience, where we have two 12 year olds that have carried and used a knife to inflict fatal violence.

"I think dealing with that comes back to what I've said about the problem.

"First of all its a problem West Midlands Police are committed to dealing with, with extra funding, operational changes and local policing as well as efforts being made to improve the level and depth of our investigations.

"But that will not solve the problem on its own, that's why we need the support of the community and our partners in health, education and social care.

"All of us can see the knife crime problem in the community, and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to show that there are no winners in this situation.

"It can have real and devastating effects on the lives of those that have had knives used on them and those that carry them."

He finished by urging young people to take note on what happened to Shawn, and urged them to realise that 'nobody wins' in a case like this.

He said: "I would urge young people in the community to read about this, and realise that nobody wins in this situation.

"You've got the life of a young man who had everything in front of him which is now ended and you've got lives of two boys which are irrevocably changed.

"And people who carry knives in the community need to think that there are consequences to those actions which go beyond any sort of notion that you might need to protect yourself or that it could give you some sort of status or respect."

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