'We hope the streets are safer now': Family pay tribute to murdered Junior Osborne

The family of murdered father Junior Osborne have said they hope the streets of Leicester are safer today after five teenagers were jailed for their parts in the 50-year-old's death. Mr Osborne was hunted down and killed by what the judge described as a "feral pack" of youths in Narborough Road, Leicester, last year.

At the time of the killing on Wednesday, September 27, one of the five defendants was 18, two 17 and the other two - including the boy who inflicted the fatal stab wound - had celebrated their 16th birthdays just one day before.

Today, Nero McLean, who was convicted of murder, and his twin brother Nevardo, can be named for the first time after LeicestershireLive asked the judge to lift the reporting restrictions put in place to protect their identities due to their young age. The pair, of Upperton Road, Westcotes, Leicester, were jailed along with three others - Moises Steiner, Theobald Budzwa and James Williams.

READ MORE: 'Feral' teenage brothers who killed Junior Osborne named for first time

After the sentencing at Leicester Crown Court today, in which Nero was given a life term with a minimum of 17 years and the others were each jailed for eight years, the family of Mr Osborne released a statement. In it, they said: “Junior was a family man who’ll be missed by all of us. He was born and grew up in Montserrat in the Caribbean and loved his sports.

The twins were jailed for their part in the attack on Junior Osborne
(l-r) Nero McLean and his twin brother Nevardo -Credit:Leicestershire Police

“He came to the UK in 1997 after the volcano on the island started to erupt two years before, meaning he had to flee his home. He left his family behind and came to the UK to rebuild his life – a life that was cruelly taken away from him.

“While life wasn’t easy, he had a family and children who loved him. He was a smart person who would go above and beyond to help others and made plenty of friends along the way.

“While he wasn’t perfect, he didn’t deserve to die in such a tragic and awful way. He was taken from us in cold blood. The loss of Junior has left a huge void for all of us and a huge hole in our hearts. He was a much-loved husband, father, brother and stepfather.

(l-r) Theobald Budzwa, Moises Steiner and James Williams
(l-r) Theobald Budzwa, Moises Steiner and James Williams -Credit:Leicestershire Police

“His children won’t get to see him again and he won’t get to see his daughter graduate or be able to walk her down the aisle.

"The footage of his final moments has been difficult for us to see."

Commenting on the sentencing today, they added: "While we’ve got justice for Junior, no sentence is going to bring him back. However, we hope the streets are a safer place now those who took him from us won’t be able to roam the streets any time soon.”

Detective Inspector Mark Parish, the senior investigating officer, said he hoped the sentencing would increase public confidence in the police. He said: “This was a planned and co-ordinated attack to kill Junior.

“Enormous credit and praise must go to detectives in the major crime team for their effort in going through hours of footage to identify the group as well as our uniformed colleagues for their efforts both at the scene and in arresting all involved as inquiries continued.

“Hopefully today’s outcome helps to increase public confidence in Team Leicestershire and the work we do to bring offenders to justice.”