A teenager was yesterday given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering a defenceless former friend in a “ferocious and cowardly” knife attack.
Macauley Jenkinson, 17, of Main Street, Seamer, near Scarborough, must spend at least 16 years in custody – minus 141 days time served – before being considered for release, the judge ruled.
The teenager, only 16 at the time of the murder, betrayed no emotion as the jury’s verdict was announced after a nine-day trial at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard that Jenkinson fatally stabbed Michael “Angel” Graham 12 times with a flick knife he had bought only six hours before.
The pair had been friends but had fallen out after Mr Graham taunted the younger man over his relationship with an underage girl.
It was underlined during the sentencing that although Mr Graham used the terms “nonce” and “paedo” the girl involved was 14 going on 15 and Jenkinson was only slightly older.
Recorder of Middlesbrough Simon Bourne-Arton QC accepted it was “irrational” of Mr Graham to call Jenkinson such names over a relationship with a 14- to 15-year-old.
He also accepted the name-calling would have been “particularly wounding” to Jenkinson since he was abused as a child.
But although Mr Graham’s texts to Jenkinson were “threatening” this small amount of provocation “fell very short of a defence for the murder”, the judge said.
Passing sentence, he told Jenkinson: “The consequence of what you did that night has been to blight the lives of two families.
“I have no doubt you bought that knife to attack Michael Graham.
“Michael Graham described you as a coward and a coward is what you are in fact.”
Jenkinson waited for another man to start the fight with Mr Graham. “You waited as the coward you are,” the judge added.
“You waited until he was defenceless before carrying out that attack on him.
“You stabbed him with ferocity. There was intent by you to kill.
“You were glad when you announced to your friends that he deserved to die. You showed not one jot of sadness or regret.
“You are a dangerous young man.”
Tim Roberts QC, prosecuting, who described the attack as “ferocious”, successfully argued on behalf of the Press that the ban on naming Jenkinson be lifted.
An order remains preventing identification of anyone else involved in the case, apart from the dead man, for legal reasons.
Michael Graham’s family said in a statement their lives had been “shattered” by the murder one Saturday night last April.