Jack Woodley: Nine teens appeal against convictions for murder

  • Published
Jack WoodleyImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Jack Woodley's family said they were devastated by his death

Nine of the 10 teenagers found guilty of murdering an 18-year-old man are appealing against their convictions.

Jack Woodley was fatally stabbed while being punched, kicked and stamped upon in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, on 16 October.

At the start of their trial all except one of the gang denied murder and manslaughter charges. A 15-year-old admitted manslaughter.

The youths, aged 14 to 18, are due to be sentenced on Friday.

None of them can be identified for legal reasons.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Jack Woodley was repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped upon before being stabbed

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Woodley had been "surrounded and isolated" by the group as he walked home from a funfair.

Prosecutors said the youths had been intent on attacking someone at the Houghton Feast and he came to their attention for a "trivial reason".

The trial heard a 16-year-old boy ran up from behind and punched him in the head and others joined in the assault.

A 15-year-old boy then pulled a "Rambo-style" knife from his trousers and stabbed Mr Woodley in the back.

Image caption,
Jack Woodley died in hospital a day after being attacked near the Britannia Inn in Houghton-le-Spring

The boy with the knife fled but the rest continued to hit Mr Woodley and pursued him down an alley where the attack resumed.

Jurors heard that the group "prevented him from escaping and other people from helping him".

Witnesses described the scene as like animals attacking a piece of meat, with one telling the jury it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to kill.

Image source, Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption,
One of the 10 defendants admitted stabbing Jack Woodley with a 9in (25cm) knife

Speaking after the verdicts, Mr Woodley's mother, Zoey McGill, said: "The devastation of losing Jack is immense and far-reaching."

His father, John Woodley, added: "Jack had his whole life ahead of him. Those who attacked our Jack get to see their families and have a future, Jack does not."

The youths were remanded into custody ahead of sentencing.

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