Teenager who stabbed young man in Winsford is found guilty of murder
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A teenager who stabbed a young man in Winsford has been found guilty of murder following his death.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty today (Wednesday 19 January) following a trial at Chester Crown Court.
He pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon earlier on during the trial. He is due to be sentenced on 21 February.
During the trial, the court heard how the teenager, who was aged 16 at the time, was in Cheviot Square on the evening of Sunday 11 October 2020. He was armed with a weapon, believed to be a Rambo III knife, and was with a group of four other teens.
The group had come to Cheviot Square to seek out two men, who were inside the Premier Store, that the teen believed were part of another group of men that they were feuding with.
CCTV shown in the court saw that as the men attempted to leave the shop, the teenager and his group ran towards the premises to gain entry.
The defendant was seen armed with the Rambo knife, kicking, banging and pushing at the door while one of this gang was armed with a hammer smashing the glass door of the shop while the men attempted to hold it shut.
Eventually the group gained access to the shop causing the two men further inside the shop before escaping via the stock room door.
The 17-year-old and his associates re-grouped outside the shop and at this point, another group approached the teenager from the rear of the shop.
In the group was one of the men that had been chased through the shop by the teen, 27-year-old Keagan Crimes and Jason McQuoid.
As the two groups met, the four associates of the teen ran away but he remained, brandishing the knife towards the group that Keagan was part of.
At this point a fight broke out - it was early on in this fight when Keagan sustained a deep stab wound to the upper chest area.
Jason attempted to use a tree branch to swipe out at the teen but fell to the floor before he was stabbed in the left shoulder and chest area.
CCTV showed the defendant run into a nearby kebab shop where he remained inside for several minutes with the group gathered outside before he ran from the scene towards Bowland Rise with the weapon.
The knife was never seen again but the court heard from the 17-year-old that he’d hidden it along with his clothing and then returned to Winsford the following day to retrieve and bury it, also stating that he burnt his clothing.
A senior paramedic was first to arrive on the scene and found Keagan lying still and unresponsive on the ground with members of the public putting pressure on the wound.
The paramedic also became aware of Jason who was in a distressed state with slash wounds to his chest.
They were both taken to hospital but sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, Keagan was pronounced dead at 1.25am on 12 October 2020.
A medical examination found that Keagan had lost an estimated 33 pints of blood from a single stab wound, which entered his heart near his left shoulder. Experts stated this would have required ‘severe force’ to inflict.
Jason was treated for his injuries and later discharged.
Following Keagan’s death an investigation was launched by the force’s Major Investigation Team.
As part of their ongoing enquiries detectives were able to piece together mobile phone data and CCTV images from the incident and following the attack.
These revealed that the teenager was at the scene and then after contacting his mother, she arranged for a taxi to collect him from the Cow Lane area of Winsford. The defendant’s sister travelled from Crewe in the taxi and accompanied him home. Forensic examination of the scene identified DNA, which was later attributed to the teenager.
After looking through the teenager’s phone, it was found that call logs from 11 October 2020 had been removed and that he had searched phrases such as ‘does blood wash off shoes’, Rambo III knives and guns.
The teenager was arrested on 14 October 2020 and later released on bail while enquiries progressed. In April 2021, he was re-arrested and, during interview, indicated that he had attended the scene with a knife with the intention of scaring off the group of boys and had acted in self-defence.
He was bailed for a second time and, on 21 June 2021, was subsequently charged with Keagan’s murder, section 18 wounding with intent in relation to Jason. He was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
Two other boys (then aged 15 and 16) were also charged with affray in relation to the incident. They were dealt with at an earlier hearing on 21 July 2021. Both were sentenced to 12 month intensive Youth Referral Order.
On October 12th 2020 our lives were shattered. Our gorgeous, fun loving boy was viciously and violently, taken away from us. We never fully understood the word ‘devastated’ until that day this is not an exaggeration we are truly devastated.
Keagan was a smashing lad, was liked by all of his friends, the life and soul of any gathering. He could be boisterous at times but also had a sensitive side and would help anyone out. To us, he was our lad, our Keag, annoying at times but we knew he loved us immensely and we him. He was our protector and we were his.
The thought of our lad, our Keagan, no longer being here, pains us every single day. We continue with our lives but we feel a void, Keagan is missing. He will always be missing. Trying to live without him is hard.
The sense of grief can be over whelming, one minute making a brew, the next you feel the tears on your cheeks as you’re stirring the spoon. It’s made so much worse knowing he was taken away from us so cruelly and needlessly as Keag was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Naturally in this world, children should bury their parents not the other way around I will never ever forget Keagan as he was a massive part of my life and I feel he touched so many lives in a positive way. My girls have lost their brother and I have lost my son and this is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
We would like to pass on our thanks to the jury in the case for their due diligence.
Nothing we do will be able to change the events of that night. The life changing events for so many but most of all for my little brother.
Keagan was only 27 years old, with his whole life ahead of him. He was due to start a new job on the Monday morning and was really looking forward to it, all taken away in a mere 15 seconds because someone decided they would take a knife out. A knife they used to kill him.
The defendant knew what he did from day 1, the evidence backs that up, but he still decided to put us through a trial by pleading not guilty. Because of his vicious and violent actions we have to live without a large part of our family, our little brother, our children’s uncle, my mums youngest child and only son.
Our memories are forever tarnished as it’s so painful to think about Keagan. Our future tarnished because we have to go on without him.
We will never understand why the defendant did what he did that night and no amount of apologies will ever be enough, because I don’t believe he is sorry for what he did. I believe he is only sorry that he got caught.
This isn't a case of you live by the sword you die by the sword, as some people may think, going on what they read. The people who know Keagan know that this isn't the case. Keagan knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew him. That weekend he was with friends of friends to party and have a good time, he never deserved this, and he never did anything to justify being killed.
Detective Inspector Adam Waller, who led the investigation, said:
“Firstly our thoughts remain very much with Keagan’s family during what has been an incredibly difficult time for them.
"They have had to sit patiently through a three-week trial at court listening to lots of harrowing evidence and re-living what happened that night. It has not been an easy process for them and I hope that, in some way, today’s verdict helps to bring about a degree of closure for them.
“Throughout the investigation the teenager has shown no remorse for Keagan’s death or the injuries he inflicted upon Jason McQuoid.
"Until he gave evidence he has never admitted where he disposed of the knife that was used to kill Keagan and seriously injure the other two men and he even searched for news of the killing online.
"From the outset he has done everything he can to cover his tracks and dispose of evidence
“I also want to thank members of the community of Winsford as we very much relied upon information and evidence from them in securing this conviction and getting justice for Keagan.
“This has been a challenging and lengthy investigation, and a dedicated team of detectives have been painstakingly piecing together what happened that night and ensuring that vital evidence was seized, recorded and used in court.
"It was only after this weight of evidence was put in front of the defendant did he take any responsibility for Keagan’s death.
"I would like to thank everyone who has worked on this case for their hard work and efforts in helping to secure a conviction.”