Jury urged to acquit boys accused of murder

Shawn Seesahai
Shawn Seesahai died on 13 November last year [Family]

Jurors have been urged to acquit two 12-year-olds of murder and manslaughter, after the death of a man in Wolverhampton.

The 12-year-olds both deny murdering Shawn Seesahai, 19, who was found on Stowlawn playing fields in East Park, Wolverhampton, on 13 November.

In closing speeches on Monday, defence KCs Rachel Brand and Paul Lewis each invited jurors to acquit their clients, who deny the killing.

The pair's identities are protected by a court order.

One of the defendants admits possession of a machete at the scene, but blames his co-accused for stabbing the victim.

He told Nottingham Crown Court that his only involvement was pushing Mr Seesahai and that he was "nowhere near" as his friend killed the 19-year-old.

Both deny injuring Mr Seesahai, who suffered a skull fracture and fatal 23cm-deep wounds to the chest.

Ms Brand, representing the youth who admits owning the machete used to stab Mr Seesahai, asked jurors to consider whether the incident was "sparked" after, it was claimed, the defendants were aggressively asked to move from a bench.

She told jurors "Common sense dictates that you must decide who caused the stab wounds.

"You can't find him guilty of murder or manslaughter just because it was his knife."

'He panicked or lost his head'

There were no witness accounts of her client shouting anything that would encourage the other boy to use the knife, Ms Brand told the court, adding: "There is no evidence at all to support the proposition that Shawn Seesahai was being punched and kicked and stomped on by both of these boys.

"He had no bruises... and the few small abrasions on his body could well have nothing to do with this incident.

"We invite you, ladies and gentlemen, on the evidence in this case, to consider that this may well have been a sudden and unexpected fatal stabbing, by [the other boy] acting alone - perhaps because he panicked or lost his head."

Urging jurors to clear her client of murder and manslaughter, Ms Brand added: "Such a verdict would not be some sort of approval of what happened.

"Such a verdict would not be some sort of approval of knife crime. It would simply be a true verdict on the evidence presented in this case."

In his closing speech, Mr Lewis claimed Ms Brand's client had a fascination with weapons.

He said of his client: "We submit that the proper verdicts would be not guilty on each of the counts that he faces.

"A mere presence at the scene of a crime is not enough."

Mr Lewis said of the other defendant: "This is a boy who scours the internet for them (knives). It goes beyond showing an interest in knives

Stowlawn playing fields in Wolverhampton
Shawn Seesahai, 19, was found on Wolverhampton's Stowlawn playing fields on 13 November, after being stabbed through the heart and suffering a skull fracture [PA Media]

"Did he ever give you a good reason for why he kept the machete? He knew that was a weapon that had been used to kill a man.

"He must have been intending to take it out with him again - there is no other reason for bleaching it and hiding it in his bedroom."

Mr Lewis also urged jurors to compare and contrast the evidence against the boys - with his client having a "small spot" of blood on the toe of his right trainer, while the co-accused had 11 areas of bloodstaining on his clothing.

High Court Judge Mrs Justice Tipples will sum up the evidence in the case on Tuesday.

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