Teenager who stabbed "lovely and gentle" 17-year-old to death in Halifax jailed for minimum 17 years

A teenager has been jailed for stabbing to death a "lovely and gentle" 17-year-old during a fight at a Halloween party in Halifax.

Jamie Brown. Picture credit West Yorkshire Police/PA Wire
Jamie Brown. Picture credit West Yorkshire Police/PA Wire

Michael Thompson, who was found guilty of murder following a trial at Leeds Crown Court, was sentenced on Friday to life with a minimum term of 17 years.

The court heard how Jamie Brown suffered a fatal stab wound to the stomach in the street outside a party in East Park Road on October 27 last year.

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Violence erupted when a group from Huddersfield travelled to the party "intent on violence" but were refused entry.

A police van at the scene of where teenager Jamie Brown was stabbed on East Park Road in Lee Mount, Halifax Picture credit: Charles Round

The court heard Thompson, now 17, had researched "stabbing videos" on his phone days before the fatal incident - including a graphic video of a man stabbed to death in jail.

Sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC lifted reporting restrictions on naming Thompson, who was also convicted of wounding with intent and violent disorder, and who he described as a "very dangerous young man", who had shown no remorse.

Thompson was carrying a kitchen knife, and one of the others, 17, was carrying a hammer, and some of the group had their faces covered.

The Judge accepted they were subjected to racial abuse, but said it only became violent when they produced weapons and made further attempts to disguise their identity.

"Absolute chaos" ensued and footage caught on a mobile showed Thompson approaching 5ft 7ins Jamie, who was "no threat" and stabbing him, causing catastrophic injuries.

A witness said Thompson in black balaclava and waving the knife around "just looked evil."

Thompson and a 16-year-old then approached another youngster who was "alone and vulnerable."

The 16-year-old asked Thompson "to give him the chef" (referring to the knife) which was stained with Jamie's blood.

Exactly what happened then was not clear, but the Judge said it was likely that Thompson felled the youngster with the hammer who was then stabbed by the other teen.

Fortunately the wounds were "less serious than intended" and he recovered.

But Judge Marson said Jamie's death had devastated his family, adding: "From Jamie's death they will never recover; for them it is a life sentence."

In a victim impact statement read to the court Jamie's father Robert said he found it hard to accept his son, a student bricklayer at Calderdale College, "has gone and I will never see him or his cheeky smile again."

He said he kept coming across a youngster who was Jamie's spitting image and thinking it was him, adding: "It takes my breath away".

Mr Brown said some people blamed parents of youngsters who resorted to knives, but "all children get to the age where they choose to do what they do.

"They can't be out there holding the hands of their children."

A 16-year-old, who pleaded guilty in April to wounding with intent, was sentenced to three years detention.

A 17-year-old, who pleaded guilty during the trial to violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon, was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order.

A 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, who were convicted of violent disorder, were both sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order with intensive supervision, a 91-day extended activity requirement and an electronic curfew.