Boy accused of murder went out with knife ‘hoping’ to stab someone, court told

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A 14-year-old accused of murdering a schoolboy went out with a knife “hoping” to stab someone, jurors have been told.

Within three hours of leaving home with a serrated steak knife, the defendant fatally wounded Tomasz Oleszak, also 14, in Gateshead, Newcastle Crown Court has been told.

Tomasz was in a group of youths who followed the defendant – who cannot be legally identified by the media due to his age – as he walked through Whitehills Nature Park with his girlfriend last October.

Making his closing speech to the jury, Mark McKone KC, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution say that (the defendant) took the knife out hoping he could use it to stab someone.”

Tomasz Oleszak, 14, who died after a suspected assault in Gateshead
Tomasz Oleszak, 14, who died last October (Family handout/Northumbria Police/PA)

But the prosecution do not accept he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed Tomasz and slashed the jacket of another boy after being knocked to the ground by the group.

Mr McKone said: “(The defendant) was in anger when he used that knife. (He) used the hostility to him as his chance to use his knife to stab someone, a chance he had been looking for since he took the knife out that evening.”

The defendant’s case is the stabbing was an accident after he was attacked, the prosecution said.

Mr McKone said the 8cm-deep chest wound could not have been inflicted by the boy “randomly” waving his arms around.

The defendant, now 15, denies murder and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to the boy whose jacket was slashed.

He has admitted carrying a blade.

The jury was told the defendant told the gang “I have wetted your boy” after Tomasz was stabbed.

Mr McKone said: “He wanted them to know he had stabbed one of their number. It was a boast.

“A person doesn’t say, ‘I have wetted your boy,’ if the stabbing was a reluctant act of self-defence or a terrible accident.”

Peter Makepeace KC, defending, started his speech to the jury by describing Tomasz’s death as an “indescribable tragedy”.

Mr Makepeace said the defendant had not looked for trouble and asked the jury to put themselves in his situation: aged 14, attacked by a group, in the dark, not knowing if any of the gang were armed.

He said: “This is a 14-year-old under group attack and having to make terrible decisions under a moment’s notice.”

Mr Makepeace asked if the prosecution has made the jury certain the defendant was not acting in self-defence, and if jurors are certain he was not acting without any specific intent to murder.

Mr Justice Spencer is due to sum up the trial, finishing his comments on Friday.

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