Victim had murder accused in headlock, jury hears

One of two 12-year-old boys charged with murdering a man with a machete has told a court the victim put him in a headlock before being stabbed by the other defendant.

Shawn Seesahai died in November, suffering a wound so deep it almost went all the way through his body.

The boy told jurors he did not know the 19-year-old had suffered a 23cm (9ins) deep fatal wound to his back, at Stowlawn playing fields in East Park, Wolverhampton.

The accused pair, who cannot be named due to their age, are on trial at Nottingham Crown Court and both deny murder, blaming each other for the fatal blow.

Warning: Readers may find details of this case upsetting

Jurors have been told the machete went into the victim's back, between his ribs, through his right lung, into his heart, and nearly came out through his chest.

One of the boys, who has admitted possession of the weapon used in the attack, was questioned by his KC, Rachel Brand, on Thursday.

Addressing the court, he has claimed he, the co-defendant and a teenage girl were sitting on a bench in the moments leading up to the attack, when the trio were approached by Mr Seesahai and another man.

Mr Seesahai had told him to "move from here" and then towered over him, the boy told jurors.

He said he answered "why" and then told the victim's friend: "Get your friend out of my face."

The boy claims he then grabbed the knife, which was still in its case, from the girl and "a second later" the other 12-year-old defendant then took it out of his hand, the jury heard.

The co-defendant then pulled the case off the machete and "side-stepped" towards him and the victim, he told the court.

"Shawn let me out of the headlock and started running and then his shoe came off, and then he tripped," the boy said.

The two defendants then ran after the victim, he told the jury.

The boy said he then saw his co-accused - who has yet to give evidence in court - of hitting Mr Seesahai.

'Didn't know he was stabbed'

Denying that he had punched, kicked or stamped on the victim, the boy continued: "I wanted to say to him [the co-defendant], 'Stop, that's enough' - to stop hitting him.

"I didn't know he was stabbed in the back.

"He [the other boy] stopped hitting him. I stood next to Shawn, looking at him... froze.

"I turned around and then he [the co-accused] threw the knife to me in the air.

"I was going to catch it but I didn't want it to cut me or hurt me, so I turned around so it wouldn't hit my arm or my face or anything."

Jurors heard the boy used bleach to clean the weapon, which had been purchased for £40 two months before the fatal attack.

The 12-year-old claimed he found out the victim had died when he was sent a screenshot of a social media post the following day.

Mr Seesahai, who lived in Handsworth, Birmingham but was originally from Anguilla in the Caribbean, had travelled to the UK to receive treatment for cataracts.

Paul Lewis KC, who is representing the co-defendant, quizzed the boy about searches and videos found on mobile phones after the victim's death.

The 12-year-old said he had sent screenshots showing himself and a friend holding a machete to the female witness, because he "thought it was cool".

In court, the boy also denied wanting to give Mr Seesahai serious injuries.

The boy's co-defendant has denied a charge of possession of the machete.

The trial continues.

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