Police 'shocked' at age of children convicted of 'brutal' murder

By John Mercury June 11, 2024

The detective who led the hunt for the killers of Shawn Seesahai said his experienced team were left in shock when two 12-year-old boys were identified as suspects.

Warning: This story contains details readers may find distressing

Mr Seesahai, 19, died after the attack on 13 November last year.

He was struck on his legs and skull and the fatal wound to his back was more than 20cm deep and “almost came out” of his chest after going “through his heart”.

The month-long trial heard the children were arrested 10 minutes apart at their respective homes, 24 hours after the incident.

Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court heard how neither boy tried to get help, opting not to call 999 anonymously, as they left their victim for dead near Wolverhampton‘s Stowlawn Primary School.

On Monday, jurors unanimously convicted the pair, who are believed to be youngest defendants convicted of murder in Britain since Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both aged 11, were found guilty in 1993 of killing two-year-old James Bulger.

The pair were 10 when they killed two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, having snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

They were given life sentences for the murder, but were released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Read more:
Boys, 12, found guilty of murdering 19-year-old in machete attack
Mother’s tribute to ‘compassionate and confident’ son Shawn Seesahai

Shawn Seesahai, who was killed in a machete attack in Wolverhampton. Pic provided by West Midlands Police via Becky Cotterill
Image:
Shawn Seesahai. Pic provided by West Midlands Police via Becky Cotterill

The pair convicted of killing Mr Seesahai have not been named.

This is because children appearing in youth or crown courts in England and Wales, whether as a victim, witness or defendant – cannot be identified if they are under the age of 18, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances refers to a pressing social need where the public interest outweighs the interest of the child – this is rare and usually only happens in high profile cases.

Speaking after the trial, Detective Inspector Damian Forrest, of West Midlands Police, said: “I have been a police officer for 20 years and this isn’t the first time I’ve been out to a young man who has lost his life in a really violent way.

“But to then find out that two 12-year-olds were responsible was shocking and made us all on the investigation team stop and pause and think about things.

“But I have got a really professional team with lots of experience, and we gathered our thoughts, adapted our policies and our processes appropriately, and carried on with the investigation from there.”

The two boys denied murdering Mr Seesahai but prosecutors said they were jointly responsible for the savage attack.

Asked about the nature of the killing, the senior officer added: “The attack was a brutal attack on a young man who was just over with his friends in Wolverhampton.”

Shawn Seesahai's parents Manashwary and Suresh Seesahai. Pic: Sky News grab but BBC pool
Image:
Shawn Seesahai’s parents Manashwary and Suresh Seesahai. Pic: Sky News grab but BBC pool

Mr Seesahai’s parents said they and their daughter will never be able to get over the loss of their beloved son.

“I will remember him every day. When I get home I see his pictures, his clothes, his sneakers, I will always remember him.

“Even at work, I work for myself and he works for me on weekends, when I would pack up my stuff he always helped me.

“Whenever I put anything in my truck now, he will be there with me helping me do it.”

Mr Seesahai added: “It’s also very hard for his sister because they always spoke to each other. After he passed away we were on the porch, she started crying and said: ‘Mummy I have no brother, it’s just me, alone.'”

After finding out the age of the accused, he added: “This world is a different world, kids are dangerous now. If we don’t pay attention to them this will keep happening.”

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