14-year-old among teenagers jailed for murder of schoolboy Keon Lincoln

A 14-year-old boy has been jailed for at least 16 years for the murder of schoolboy Keon Lincoln, who was stabbed and shot outside his home. Keon, 15, was fatally wounded in a “short and brutal” attack by a group of youths in Handsworth, Birmingham, on 21 January, the trial heard.

The judge at Birmingham crown court lifted restrictions on naming the 14-year-old boy who was accused of firing the fatal shot as Yussuf Mustapha. Three others were also sentenced for murder.

Tahjgeem Breakenridge, 18, from Balsall Heath, and Michael Ugochukwu, 18, from Edgbaston, were both sentenced to life with a minimum term of 19 years. A 16-year-old from Walsall, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also convicted of Keon’s murder and ordered to be detained for at least 17 years.

And Kieron Donaldson, 19, of Perry Barr, was sentenced to a 12-year custodial term for Lincoln’s manslaughter, having supplied weapons to those involved in the killing.

Lincoln’s mother, Sharmaine, had been at home when her son was attacked. She called his killers “heartless, evil monsters”. In a victim impact statement, she said: “I’m in a nightmare I cannot wake up from. My heart is broken beyond repair. A piece of my soul has been taken from me. I miss my boy so much, it physically hurts. I can only hope the day will come when the senseless murder of children will end.”

Passing sentence on Monday, Lord Justice William Davis said the murder had been “carefully planned and executed” using a revolver and a stolen car. “It’s quite clear that all who came from the car were party to the use of the gun,” he said.

The judge went on: “[Keon’s mother] heard the shots. She went out to find her son dying on the pavement. Not only has she been robbed of her son when he was only 15, but also she had to experience the trauma of watching him die.

“When a 15-year-old boy is killed in that way, the first question will be why? That question has never been answered.”

Jurors heard Lincoln was repeatedly stabbed by a group who chased him after getting out of a stolen car. He was then shot in the abdomen as he lay on the ground, and died two hours later at Birmingham children’s hospital.

Prosecutors said a Ford S-Max with a false registration plate was used. It was later involved in a crash on Wheeler Street in Birmingham, where investigators found forensic evidence including a hunting knife.

Detectives have previously said it was unclear whether Lincoln had been targeted by the group or if he had been attacked “by chance”. But the judge said the lack of clarity did “not mean that the murder of Keon was motiveless”. He said: “It simply means that neither the jury nor I have any notion of what the motive was.”

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