Cumbria

Jordan Watson death trio sentenced

George Thomson, Daniel Johnston and Brahnn Finley
Image caption Thomson, Johnston and Finley were all convicted of killing Jordan Watson

A knife-obsessed man who murdered a 14-year-old boy whose girlfriend he was infatuated with has been jailed for life, along with his accomplice.

George Thomson and Brahnn Finley, both 19, were both convicted of Jordan Watson's murder on Friday.

The body of the teenager, who was subjected to a "brutal and sustained" attack, was found in Upperby Cemetery in Carlisle on 15 June.

A third man, Daniel Johnston, was found guilty of manslaughter on Monday.

He was jailed for 10 years, while Thomson and Finley were given minimum terms of 27 and 14 years respectively.

At their trial at Carlisle Crown Court, which lasted four weeks, all three men denied murder. Johnston was cleared of murder but convicted of the lesser charge.

'Brutal butchery'

The jury heard Thomson was infatuated with Jordan's then 14-year-old girlfriend and that he would "kill anyone for her".

He was obsessed with knives and a cache of almost 70 weapons was found at his home, including a bloodstained Gurkha knife.

The court heard Thomson took a driving lesson the day after he stabbed Jordan to death and that the trio took a selfie in Thomson's bedroom shortly before the murder.

Mr Justice Green told Thomson: "This was nothing more and nothing less than brutal and sustained butchery.

"There is no other word to describe what you did than 'evil'.

"After you had committed the murder you were without guilt or remorse.

"The next day you got up and had a driving lesson. You then went to work as normal. There is evidence that you surfed the internet looking for stories about the murder and you actually enjoyed the coverage."

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Jordan was the victim of a "vicious and sadistic" attack, police said

Finley and Johnston were present during the murder and there to "lend support" to Thomson, the trial heard.

The trial had heard Jordan had suffered at least nine deep wounds to his head and neck which were likely to have been caused by a sharp-bladed instrument.

They were also told Thomson had an "obsessive desire" for Jordan's girlfriend and wanted Jordan "out of the picture".

After sentencing, Jordan's parents Mike and Lisa Watson said the past seven months had been "a living nightmare".

They added: "Jordan was full of fun and was loved by his family, particularly his younger sister which he was very protective of. We have our own special memories of Jordan which no one can take away from us.

"For the past seven months we have had so many unanswered questions. Every day we question why the life of our 14-year-old child was taken in such a cruel and violent way. We will never see our child grow up and live a full life.

"No sentence will ever truly reflect the deep loss we feel for losing our child Jordan."

Image caption The jury had previously seen a collection of 67 weapons retrieved from Thompson's home

Det Supt Andrew Slattery of Cumbria Police added: "For anyone to die in these circumstances is appalling, but this pre-meditated murder was carried out on a small 14-year-old boy.

"As teenagers do, he looked up to adults as role models and one of those was George Thomson who befriended him. Thomson encouraged Jordan to visit him at home and showed off his collection of weapons.

"He told him exciting stories about his money-making schemes and promised him money in return for helping him with his illicit business. Jordan would have been excited about the prospect of earning what would have been to him huge sums of money."

Mr Slattery said Thomson's friendship with Jordan was "a sham" and he would "stop at nothing" to have the boy's girlfriend for himself.

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Thomson, Johnston and Finley posed for a selfie shortly before Jordan was killed

Cumbria Police released a photo of the trio taken in Thomson's bedroom on the night Jordan was killed.

Mr Slattery said Finley knew Thomson and owed him money after "ripping him off" in a drug deal.

Mr Slattery added: "Finley agreed to pay his debt by helping Thomson out with a job that needed doing and so he took his best friend Daniel Johnston along too.

"That job, which Thomson had planned for weeks, was the murder of Jordan Watson at the cemetery in Upperby.

"Jordan left his home that night in good spirits, no doubt looking forward to spending his money but he never returned. He was murdered in a vicious and sadistic attack which shocked the whole community."

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