Teen stabbed to death outside school in 'targeted attack' because 'he joined a gang and left'

16 March 2023, 21:22

Khayri McLean and people paying tribute to the slain teenager
Khayri McLean and people paying tribute to the slain teenager. Picture: Press release/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A teenage boy was stabbed to death outside his school because "he joined a gang and left," a court has heard.

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Khayri McLean, 15, was held down and and knifed by a masked attacker near North Huddersfield Trust School on September 21.

A teacher desperately tried to save a Khayri's life after he was knifed to death by a "masked killer". The staff member frantically performed CPR on the boy after he had been attacked near to his school gates shortly before 3pm that day.

The attack was a "well-planned and targeted" knifing by two balaclava-wearing youths "lying in wait" for him as he left, prosecutors say.

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A 15-year-old boy who knifed Khayri in the chest has admitted murder, jurors at Leeds Crown Court have heard.

A 17-year-old said to have stabbed Khayri in the leg denies murder and is on trial.

A pupil views floral tributes at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022.
A pupil views floral tributes at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022. Picture: Alamy

Although the older teenager did not inflict the fatal blow, he is guilty of murder because he acted with his co-accused and they "encouraged and supported each other to carry out the attack", prosecutors say.

On Thursday, jurors heard a summary of evidence from two of Khayri's friends who saw the attack in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

One boy, 15, who said he had been friends with Khayri since primary school, described being in class earlier that afternoon and seeing two people "dressed in black from head to toe" heading across an adjacent public field.

A summary of the witness's interview with police, read in court by prosecutor George Hazel-Owram, said he and a group of friends, including Khayri, finished school at 2.40pm and were "all talking and having a laugh" as they left.

Tributes at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022.
Tributes at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022. Picture: Alamy

As they approached an alleyway, two people wearing balaclavas, sunglasses and gloves leapt from the alley, with one shouting "Yo, Khayri," the witness said. The attacker "came straight at Khayri", the witness told police.

One of the boys started running" when the attack happened, he told officers, and he could hear Khayri screaming as he sprinted away.

Mr Hazel-Owram said the witness told police "he thought this incident had happened because Khayri was in a gang and had left the gang".

"He thought Khayri had joined the gang partway through Year 10," he said. "He had seen Khayri post about the gang on social media."

A police community support officer lays a floral tribute at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022.
A police community support officer lays a floral tribute at the scene in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, where 15-year-old schoolboy Khayri McLean was fatally stabbed outside his school gates. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022. Picture: Alamy

Another friend of Khayri who saw the killing said the attackers "had been waiting for Khayri and recognised him".

"They knew who Khayri was, they were aggressive and it was clear they wanted to hurt Khayri badly," Mr Hazel-Owram said in his summary.

Jurors were told the 17-year-old defendant's girlfriend sent him an audio message on Snapchat about 20 minutes before the attack, asking: "How comes you are going in 20 minutes when they finish school in, like, 10 minutes?"

The court was previously told the older defendant saw Khayri as his "enemy".

The trial continues.

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