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‘Even getting up in the morning is painful’: Teenager, 15, who killed 14-year-old with steak knife jailed for 12 years
15 June 2023, 16:48
A teenager who murdered a 14-year-old with a steak knife in Gateshead last October has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Leighton Amies, 15, has been sentenced to at least 12 years in prison after he stabbed Tomasz Oleszak, 14, to death in a nature park in Tyne and Wear last October.
Tomasz suffered an 8cm-deep wound to his chest from the attack and died the day after.
Amies, who was 14 at the time of the attack, was convicted of the murder last month.
It was reported that Amies was walking through the nature park with his girlfriend at the time when a group of young people began following the pair.
He was carrying a serrated kitchen knife with him for “reassurance”, he said.
Judge Spencer said Amies had “anticipated trouble” and “intended to fight” as he had encountered the same group the same before.
The defendant told court that he took the knife out to scare off the attackers and in doing so accidentally hit Tomasz.
But this contradicted reports from witnesses who said the 15-year-old triumphantly declared “I’ve wetted your boy” after the incident, meaning he had made him bleed.
The injuries Tomasz suffered would have required a “deliberate and determined stabbing”, the courts heard.
Restrictions on naming him were lifted last month, as Mr Justice Spencer wanted to deter other teenagers from carrying knives.
He also recognised that while Amies did not initiate the incident, Tomasz remained blameless. He said that the group who followed Amies must also now live knowing their “stupidity” resulted in Tomasz’s death.
Judge Spencer told the 15-year-old: “This was the beautiful, exceptional, gifted boy whose life you, Leighton, brought to an end.”
Images procured from the police after Tomasz’s death showed the defendant had an “unhealthy and malign interest in knives”, Judge Spencer said.
Amies previously admitted to carrying a blade, and was also convicted for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to another member of the group, which he received 13 months for and will be served concurrently.
It has also been now revealed that Amies was expelled from his primary school when he was younger after he threatened to stab his teacher, and then again from secondary school for attempted arson.
Mr Justice Spencer told the defendant: “You took the knife to the scene, intending to have it available to use as a weapon, which you then did.
"Once you have served the minimum term, less the time spent on remand, you will then be eligible for early release but you will remain on licence for the rest of your life and may be recalled to custody at any time."
Peter Makepeace KC, said in the 15-year-old’s defence: “This is a 14-year-old under group attack and having to make terrible decisions under a moment's notice.”
He also added that Amies had not been looking for trouble.
Kamila Wisniewska, Tomasz’s mother, said: “I have flashbacks to that night, trying desperately to keep my boy alive.
"He was the most beautiful boy, with good manners and he hated violence and was not a fighter.
"I'm a shadow of who I previously once was. This day has changed me forever. I have a hole in my heart."
Detective Inspector Chris Deavin said outside court: "This is a truly tragic case and our thoughts very much remain with Tomasz's heartbroken family and loved ones, who are facing the worst sentence of all - a life without Tomasz.
"This case should send an unequivocal message to anyone who chooses to carry a weapon of any kind or believes that violence is acceptable that the consequences can be devastating.
"Look at the pain this tragedy has caused - not only could you take away someone else's future and destroy the lives of their loved ones, but also ruin your own life and those of your family and friends."