The teenage killers of an 18-year-old who was attacked before being stabbed to death should receive life sentences with a “starting point” of 12 years, it was submitted today (Monday August 1).

Newcastle Crown Court was hearing the prosecution and defence sentencing submissions relating to the ten youths convicted of the murder of Jack Woodley, arising from the attack as he and his girlfriend left Houghton Feast fun fair in Houghton-le-Spring, on the night of Saturday, October 16, last year.

He was cajoled, surrounded and ultimately attacked, with punches and kicks raining in on him before being stabbed twice by a Rambo-syle 25cm knife. 

Mr Woodley died in hospital the following night from injuries suffered in the attack, principally the two stab wounds inflicted by a 15-year-old defendant.

That youth admitted manslaughter, but denied murder, while the other nine accused each also denied murder.

Read more: Jack Woodley trial: This is when 10 teens will be sentenced in Newcastle

All were found guilty by a jury on June 1 following a lengthy trial at the court, after which all were remanded in custody.

The defendants, two appearing by video link from different custodial establishments, were back before the court to hear today’s submissions to Judge Rodney Jameson, the trial judge who will pass sentence.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, said the defendants were aged between 14 and 17 at the time, although two have since turned 18.

“All were aged under 18 at the time and so sentence must be detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

“We submit the starting point for all is 12 years.”

But he said the use of a knife and the links to the knife might be, “an important consideration” in deciding the exact sentence appropriate for each defendant.

Judge Jameson said he expects there will be, “substantial variations” in the minimum terms he passes in the case.

Read more: Jack Woodley trial: Jury retires to consider verdict

During the hearing moving victim personal statements were read to the court by Mr Woodley’s parents, mother Zoey McGill and father John Woodley.

Mrs McGill described her son as, “our cheeky blue-eyed boy.”

“Jack was my reason to live and succeed in life. He brought life and love to us all.”

She said after a “difficult couple of years” in his younger teens, her son had, “really changed his life around”.

Mrs McGill said her son, born in Newton Aycliffe, had just received the keys to a new home on the day of the fatal attack and had been due to start work as a fork lift truck driver with Amazon on the following Monday.

She said his death has, “ruined our lives”, as: “Life won’t ever be the same without Jack.”

Mrs McGill said “It’s had a devastating effect on us all.

"We can’t see a way of ever recovering from this,” adding that the whole family felt, “imprisoned by our own grief and trauma.”

Mr Woodley snr said he had suffered, “extreme swings of emotion” as a result of his son’s death.

But he said: “I have so much anger to each one of the accused for what you did with my son.

“This was a cowardly attack by a large group armed with weapons.”

He added that his son “didn’t stand a chance from the first punch to the last kick”.

Judge Jameson is expected to pass sentence on all ten defendants at the court, on Friday.

Read next: 

               * Jack Woodley murder trial: Judge issues advice to jurors

               * Evidence heard from last of accused in Jack Woodley murder trial

               * Jack Woodley murder trial at Newcastle Crown Court

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