Ten teens jailed for 124 years after 18-year-old murdered in gang attack

5 August 2022, 23:46

Jack Woodley and his mum
Jack Woodley and his mum. Picture: Family handout/LBC

By Sarah Collins

Ten teenagers have been jailed for a combined total of 124 years for murdering an 18-year-old as he walked home from a funfair in Sunderland.

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Jack Woodley died from a single stab wound during an 80-second-long attack in which he was punched, kicked and stamped upon by 10 youths.

All 10, now aged between 15 and 18, were convicted of murder in June at Newcastle Crown Court.

Jack had been on a night out at the Houghton Feast funfair on 16th October when he came to the attention of the group.

During the trial, the court heard how the youths had been 'looking for trouble' when they attacked Jack close to the Britannia Inn, he later died in hospital.

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Jack's mother, Zoe McGill, recalls getting the phone call telling her her son had been attacked.

"I just kept saying, Jack's dead, Jack's dead we need to go.

"When we walked into the ICU, it just wasn't my son. It was like looking at someone else, he was bloated from all the treatment he'd had.

"We went to hold his hand and we were stopped because he was evidence. We just had to stand over him, the nurses gave us some gloves and gowns so we could hold his hand and it just seemed as though we were waiting forever".

Soon after the attack on Jack, Zoe made the decision to release photographs of her son in hospital, she says she wanted to send a message to other young people about carrying knives.

"I wanted them to see, this is the effect, this is what Jack had to go through and what we did and the doctors and nurses who tried to save his life.

"Don't carry a knife, don't put yourself in that position where you could possibly use it. Don't think that just because you've been with the people carrying the knives that you can't be prosecuted because you can.

"I've heard people saying 'the ones who didn't stab him shouldn't have been charged but they were part of it.

"Anyone of their moves, if it hadn't have happened could have led to him not being stabbed so in my mind, they're all murderers".

Nine of the youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied murder and manslaughter.

One pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting he stabbed Mr Woodley but denying he intended to kill him, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the other nine defendants, aged between 14 and 18, to minimum terms of between eight and 15 years' detention.

He told them that if they are then released, they will remain on licence for the rest of their lives.