Teenager killed outside his school by two youths ‘lying in wait’, trial told
A teenage boy was killed outside his school gates by two youths who were lying in wait for him wearing balaclavas and carrying knives, prosecutors have told a jury.
Khayri McLean, 15, was stabbed while making his way home from North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS) on September 21 last year.
Leeds Crown Court jurors were told that as Khayri left the school on Woodhouse Hall Road, Huddersfield, with his friends, he was met by a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, who “charged” towards him aggressively.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford KC said the 15-year-old shouted “Oi Khayri” or “Yo Khayri” before jumping in the air, swinging a knife with a 30cm blade and stabbing Khayri in the chest.
This proved to be the fatal blow as it went through his ribs and penetrated one of his lungs and heart, jurors heard.
Mr Sandiford said Khayri fell to the floor and was “defenceless on his back” when the 16-year-old went after him, knife in hand, and stabbed him again.
“Fortunately, Khayri was able to lift his legs to block the blow and so the knife penetrated his lower leg rather than a more vital part of his body,” the prosecutor said.
Jurors were told the 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to murder.
The 16-year-old, who has since turned 17, denies murdering Khayri and is on trial.
Prosecutors say that although the older defendant did not inflict the fatal blow, he is guilty of murder because the pair acted together and were “encouraging and supporting each other to carry out that attack”.
Mr Sandiford said: “This was not an act of spontaneous violence but a planned attack in which (the defendants) armed themselves with knives, changed some of their clothing and wore balaclavas to hide their identities before going to lie in wait to attack Khayri as he walked home from school.”
Jurors were told the two defendants were dressed in black clothes with black balaclavas and their eyes covered, possibly by sunglasses.
After attacking Khayri, they ran away together back down the ginnel from which they emerged to attack him, the court heard.
Mr Sandiford said they stopped to remove their balaclavas and the clothing worn for the attack.
“Those items, and most likely the knives used to murder Khayri, were left in bags, concealed in woodland, from where they were later retrieved and disposed of by others,” he told the court.
“Having changed their appearances, (the defendants) continued to make their getaway, calmly walking to within a short distance of where Khayri lay fatally injured in the street.”
After being stabbed, jurors heard Khayri was helped up by his friends and ran a short distance back towards his school before he collapsed.
Paramedics, a passing doctor and air ambulance staff kept him alive long enough for him to be transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where he died shortly after 5pm that day, Mr Sandiford said.
Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Khayri staggering backwards after the fatal blow and falling to the ground before being stabbed by the older defendant.
Members of Khayri’s family sitting in the public gallery became distressed at the footage, with one running out of the courtroom.
Mr Sandiford said the CCTV also showed the younger defendant dropping one of his mobile phones at the scene.
“This was an important piece of evidence that led to the tracing of the two defendants, and the DNA of (the 15-year-old defendant) was found on the Sim card,” he told jurors.
The court heard the older defendant’s mother heard about the stabbing and texted him saying: “Your enemy has been stabbed and it doesn’t look good.”
He was arrested in the early hours of September 22 while the younger defendant handed himself in to the police later that day, jurors were told.
Mr Sandiford said the 17-year-old has since claimed in a defence statement that he went to the school to confront another person who he believed had broken windows at his mother’s house.
The court heard he was concerned this person and his friends might have knives with them and so he picked up “a small kitchen knife to defend himself if necessary”.
He did not name his co-defendant but said “another boy” offered to come with him, and when a group of pupils approached them, the other boy rushed at them and he “instinctively” followed him.
The defence statement said he swung his knife at Khayri “in panic” as he “feared he would be attacked”.
Mr Sandiford said: “The prosecution say this is a pack of lies put together in an attempt to explain away that he and (his co-defendant) armed themselves with knives, took a change of clothing in their bags, changed clothes in the woods and put on balaclavas to conceal their identities, went to that ginnel and lay in wait for Khayri McLean, a person identified in text messages as an enemy of (the older defendant).
“When Khayri came by, they immediately targeted and attacked him with their knives.
“The prosecution says this was a well-planned and targeted attack on Khayri McLean with the intention of killing him or at least causing him really serious harm.”
The trial continues.