Teenage gang jailed over killing of 'loved' father

Junior Osborne
Junior Osborne, who was described by his family as "a much-loved husband, father, brother and stepfather" [Supplied]

Five teenagers - including 16-year-old twins - have been jailed for killing a man in a planned attack.

Junior Osborne, 50, died from a single stab wound to his neck in Narborough Road, Leicester, last September.

The five teenagers - aged 16 to 18 - all had an existing criminal record for carrying a knife and were described as "a feral pack of youths".

Jailing them for a combined total of 49 years, Mr Justice Neil Calver said it had been a "brutal, cold-blooded killing".

Twins Nevardo and Nero McLean
Twins Nevardo McLean (left), convicted of manslaughter, and Nero McLean, was given a life sentence for murder [Leicestershire Police]

The group included twins Nero and Nevardo McLean, of Upperton Road, Leicester, who celebrated their 16th birthday the day before the killing.

Due to the seriousness of the offences, the judge lifted a reporting restriction banning the publication of their names, because of their age.

Mr Osborne - described as a "much-loved" brother and father - was stabbed while cycling in the city at 21:30 BST on 27 September.

He was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, but died about an hour later.

Leicester Crown Court heard the group had "hunted down" Mr Osborne.

Nero McLean admitted manslaughter, but last month was convicted of murder.

His brother Nevardo McLean and three other teenagers - James Williams, 18, of Pelham Way, Leicester; Moises Steiner, 18, of Dovedale Road in Thurmaston; and Theobald Budzwa, 18, of Ash Court, Groby - were convicted of manslaughter.

Nero McLean was given a life sentence, and must serve a minimum of 17 years before being considered for parole.

Nevardo McLean, Williams, Steiner and Budzwa were each given eight-year sentences, which they must serve two thirds of before being released.

All five were also convicted of having a bladed article in a public place, but not given any separate penalty.

Mr Justice Calver said: "I am sure you all met up to plan an attack on Junior Osborne and you assembled with your knives.

"All except Nevardo wore face coverings and prior to the attack you filmed yourselves - you were excited and wanted to show off to your friends.

"As you went to find Mr Osborne your conversation was picked up on CCTV - you callously talked about stabbing him and stealing drugs and money."

A five-week trial heard Mr Osborne was riding his bike when Nero McLean sprinted across Narborough Road and plunged a knife into his victim's neck, in front of children playing outside a shop.

The group then ran off and the murder weapon has never been recovered.

In mitigation, Nero McLean's barrister said the teenager had written a letter to the court to express his remorse for the murder.

It said: "I understand the immense pain my actions have caused. Not a day goes by that I wish I could change what happened. I am really truly sorry."

The judge added: "A more cruel and heartless killing is hard to imagine.

"You took the life on an innocent man. You have destroyed your own lives as well as those who loved Junior Osborne and who love you."

Police tape cordons off the murder scene
The scene on Narborough Road in Leicester was cordoned off after Mr Osborne's murder in September 2023 [BBC]

Following Tuesday’s sentencing, the family of Junior Osborne released a statement which said he had come to the UK in 1997, following the volcanic eruption in Montserrat in 1997.

"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.

"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."

"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.”

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