Friday, September 4, 2020

Teen killers who used samurai sword to hack at man more than 100 times are jailed

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, used a samurai sword to hack at an innocent man's body more than 100 times before attempting to chop his head off, a court heard



Two teenagers who killed a factory worker in an "absolutely barbaric" attack using a samurai sword outside a factory in have been jailed for 38 years.



Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, who previously could not be named for legal reasons, admitted the murder of Robert Wilson.

Earnshaw and Gaukroger have been jailed for life with minimum terms of 22 years and 16 years, eight months respectively.

Mr Wilson, 53, from Birstall, was attacked with a sword and stabbed to death outside his workplace at the Thornton & Ross factory in Linthwaite on Thursday, January 16.

His colleague John Badejo was also stabbed during the same incident.

Earnshaw also admitted possession of a sword, possession of knife and wounding with intent in relation to Mr Badejo, and a court heard he tried to cut off the victim's head.



A postmortem discovered 100 sharp-force injuries to Mr Wilson's body - mainly to the head, neck and upper body, Yorkshire Live reports.

Earnshaw had four previous convictions, including for causing GBH and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Mr Wilson's wife Elaine told the court: “It is soul-destroying to us to realise these youths had choices and they chose to kill for no reason at all.”


Luke Gaukroger, 16, has been jailed for 16 years and eight months



She added that the couple had so much to look forward to, adding: “It makes my heart break when I see his hard work blooming in the garden.”

In a statement released after the sentencing, she said her husband's killers "do not deserve a place in society."

The court heard Earnshaw kicked Mr Wilson in the chest then stamped on his head five to six times then stabbed him in the chest ‘with full force’.

Gaukroger, then aged 15, took the sword and stabbed Mr Wilson with 11 full force blows, starting on his back and moving towards his head.

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years


The sword, which was more than two feet long, weighed two pounds and eight ounces and had a 20 inch blade

Earnshaw tried to sever his head again before stabbing him multiple times again.



Mr Badejo, who was a team leader on the night shift, read his victim personal statement to the court.

He said: “I was sedated for 12 hours at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

”I was confused and could not believe what I was being told.

”I was told I nearly had to have my left hand amputated.”

Flowers and cards placed at the entrance to the Thornton and Ross factory (Image: MEN MEDIA)



Mr Wilson was described by his family as 'a loving and committed husband and father' (Image: MEN MEDIA)

He described nerve and tissue damage to his hand, adding: “There are no words to describe the pain I was in.”

Mr Badejo said: “The pain in the first six months was unbearable and has affected me in many ways."

He said it has really affected his relationship with his wife and children.

He said he takes medication daily and may be in pain for the rest of his life, adding: “Even with the medication, the pain was so intolerable.

”The pain is ridiculous, it is constant, never-ending, 24/7.”



A large number of police and ambulance crews flooded the area in response to the attack.

CPR was carried out at the scene but Mr Wilson died from his injuries.

Mr Wilson leaves behind a wife and two stepchildren (Image: MEN MEDIA)



Robert Wilson was attacked with a sword and stabbed to death outside his workplace (Image: MEN 

Mr Wilson was described by his family as 'a loving and committed husband and father' who left behind a devastated wife and two stepchildren.



In a statement released by police, Mr Wilson's family said: "Robert was a loving and committed husband and father. As well as being loved and respected by work colleagues and friends.

"He leaves behind a devastated wife, Elaine, and two step children, Jack and Ella. The family would like to request privacy and respect during this difficult time."

Mr Wilson, a night supervisor from Birstall, was pronounced dead at the scene after being attacked at about 11.45pm.

A friend of Mr Wilson said: "He was a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for a few years.

“He was a lovely lad, absolutely brilliant and really down to earth.

“He got on with everybody and was a really top guy.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I received a text saying he had been murdered. It’s just awful news.”


Police at the scene of the fatal stabbing in January (Image: Alex Cousins/SWNS)

Factory worker Robert Wilson died as a result of his injuries (Image: Alex Cousins/SWNS)



A woman who lives nearby said: “I heard someone screaming, it was horrible.

“It was about 11.45pm. I thought, ‘God it sounds like someone is killing someone'.

“I heard high-pitched screaming and then saw blue lights. There was one guy on the floor and people standing over him."

During sentencing the judge noted how Gaukroger wrote sickening raps showing him "revelling in the offences".

The judge quoted the following excerpt: “The last sound he made is a croak, I heard him struggling for his last breath . . .Still stabbing up the guy’s chest, laughing cos my”Knife work the best”.

The judge added: “You congratulated yourself on what you call your knife work”.

DCI Marc Bowes of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “The murder of Mr Wilson and the serious assault on Mr Badejo were truly dreadful offences in what was a horrendous incident for the community of Linthwaite.

"It is no exaggeration to say the level of violence used by these males in the attacks was absolutely barbaric.

"They both acted in a manner which many of us would struggle to comprehend and committed acts which were among the worst that I and other members of my investigation team have witnessed in our policing careers. Thankfully such acts are very rare occurrences in today’s society.”



He added: "We can't begin to imagine the appalling impact Mr Wilson's murder has had on his family. Their courage and dignity in coping with such a traumatic event has been immense.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Mrs Wilson said in a statement: "Without a doubt the hardest part of losing Robert has been the manner in which he lost his life.

"That he had such a horrific death has been hard to bear for us. We have tried to look for positives and are thankful that it was only one life that was taken, it could quite easily have been more.

"We are just so glad that these youths are now off our streets as they obviously have no regard for anyone.

"To do what they did is incomprehensible to any 'normal' human being and they do not deserve a place in society."