Express & Star

Sentencing date set for 12-year-old killers of Shawn Seesahai

Two 12-year-olds convicted of the brutal killing of " brave" Shawn Seesahai in Wolverhampton will be sentenced next month.

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Like all under 18s in the criminal justice system, the schoolboys cannot be publicly identified unless the court lifts the automatic ban.

The automatic ban also relates to social media platforms and any information such as details of their schools, their address and images that could lead to 'jigsaw' identification.

Both youths were found guilty of murdering the defenceless 19-year-old who was simply passing time in Stowlawn playing fields near Bilston on November 13 last year, following a jury trial.

After the verdict was announced on Monday trial judge Mrs Justice Tipples KC said she will hear representations from the press on whether to name the killers. This hearing will be held on July 25.

Shawn Seesahai was killed while passing time at Wolverhampton's Stowlawn playing fields

The application is expected to be opposed by the defendants's defence barristers.

This will be followed by a two-day sentencing hearing on July 29 and 30 at Nottingham Crown Court where the trial was held due to the youths being held in secure accommodation outside of the West Midlands area.

Under the legislation children appearing in youth or crown courts in England and Wales, whether as a victim, witness or defendant - cannot be identified if they are under the age of 18, apart from in exceptional circumstances. Anonymity 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 to name them.

The European Convention on Human Rights enshrines the right to privacy and a family life meaning that once convicted children have served the sentence for their crimes they have the right to move on.

Following the Seesahai trial West Midlands senior crown prosecutor Jonathan Roe said: “Shawn Seesahai was an incredibly brave young man who had a world of opportunities at his feet. He suffered traumatic injuries after being ruthlessly targeted by defendants who had a fixation with violence and were roaming the streets looking for a potential victim.

“This was a horrifying and random act of brutality, perpetrated by two 12-year-olds who should not have been spending their time arming themselves with a machete and preparing to take a life.

“This conviction should send a clear message to those who feel it appropriate to arm themselves with knives or blades - no matter how you may try to justify it, you will face the consequences of your actions. All of our thoughts remain with Shawn's family and friends at this difficult time."

The two youths are believed to be the youngest convicted of murder since Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were found guilty of killing two-year-old James Bulger in Bootle in Merseyside1993.

Venables and Thompson, who were aged 10 at the time, were subsequently named publicly after the reporting restriction was lifted following their trial. The trial judge lifted reporting restrictions stating: "The public interest overrode the interest of the defendants."

He argued there was a need for an "informed public debate" on crimes committed by young children. On release in 2001 they were given new identities and lifelong anonymity.

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