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Killer, 15, handed life sentence for ‘senseless’ hunting knife murder

By PA News

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A 15-year-old who used a hunting knife to murder a schoolboy who was walking home has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 13 years.

The youth, who was aged 14 when he knifed Rohan Shand in the chest on a grassed area beside a busy road, remained calm in the dock as he was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court.

Jurors convicted the teenager of murder in August after a trial heard he used a combat-style knife in a “revenge” attack lasting less than seven seconds, close to a war memorial on Harborough Road, Northampton.

Rohan Shand (Northamptonshire Police/PA)
Rohan Shand (Northamptonshire Police/PA)

The court was told Rohan, known as Fred, was targeted after one of his killer’s friends was injured in a dispute between schoolboys outside a branch of McDonald’s the previous day.

Sentencing the youth, who cannot be named because of his age, on Thursday, Mr Justice Morris said: “This was a horrendous attack in broad daylight on the streets of Northampton.

“At the time it must have been a terrifying experience for all who witnessed it.”

Addressing the teenager killer directly, the judge added: “I find you intended to cause serious bodily injury.

This was a brazen and shocking attack leading to the senseless death of a young man
High Court judge Mr Justice Morris

“This was a brazen and shocking attack leading to the senseless death of a young man.”

During last summer’s trial, prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff KC said the 14-year-old boy had stabbed Rohan after riding to the scene of the attack on an electric scooter with a 16-year-old youth.

The identity of the other youth, now aged 17, is also protected by a court order.

He was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for possession of a different knife to that used in the killing.

Rohan, a student at Kingsthorpe College who suffered a single stab wound, was pronounced dead at the scene of the attack on the afternoon of March 22 this year.

Ms Bickerstaff told the trial: “He was wearing his uniform and he was in company with his friend.

“Both defendants can be seen on the CCTV footage dressed in black.”

The youth convicted of murder was wearing a balaclava, the court heard, while the older youth, who was found not guilty of killing Rohan, was wearing a surgical mask.

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