The teenage killers of Jack Woodley were today (Friday August 5) sentenced to a total of more than 124 years behind bars for the fatal “mob” attack after an evening at a fun fair.

Life sentences imposed by Judge Rodney Jameson at Newcastle Crown Court ranged from a minimum term of 17 years, for the 15-year-old who inflicted the two fatal stab wounds, to eight years for the youngest of the attackers, aged 14 at the time.

Judge Jameson told all ten defendants, now aged between 15 and 18, that he was satisfied they were intent on violence and all were aware one of their group was armed with a knife, even if it was only at a late stage of events in some cases, on the fateful night, the last evening of the fun fair at the annual Houghton Feast celebration, in Houghton-le-Spring, on Saturday October 16, last year.

Eighteen-year-old Mr Woodley, who was with his girlfriend and two other friends, were making their way from the fairground, on Dairy Lane, towards the town centre, intending to catch a bus home.

They would not make it, as they were surrounded by the mob, intent on violence.

Read more: Jack Woodley LIVE: Ten teenagers sentenced for murder - updates from court

Mr Woodley, originally from Newton Aycliffe, was said to have been selected as the recipient of the violence because he was not from the area, and was suspected of being, “a towny”.

He was challenged to a fight, which he refused, pat-down searched to ensure he was not armed, and then cornered and attacked on The Broadway.

As he came under a flurry of punches and kicks he was stabbed by the 15-year-old, once to the hip area and the second time, fatally, in the back.

Although he tried to retreat down an alleyway alongside the Britannia Inn, he was further attacked and collapsed, before being tended to by startled drinkers from the pub, as his assailants fled the scene.

Despite receiving medical attention in the alleyway and overnight at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, his death was confirmed at the Newcastle hospital the following evening.

Police began inquiries immediately and several of those who were later convicted were arrested the following day, while the youth who inflicted the fatal knife wounds was arrested at his school on the Monday afternoon, following the incident.

All ten defendants denied murder, but the youth who admitted stabbing Mr Woodley admitted manslaughter, at a pre-trial hearing in January.

They went on trial, starting at the court on March 14, but it would not be until June 1, following three days’ deliberation, that the jury returned ten unanimous guilty verdicts.

Sentence was adjourned until this week, with pre-sentencing submissions made by the lawyers in the case, prior to today’s hearing.

During that hearing emotional victim impact statements were made by Mr Woodley’s parents, his mother Zoe 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.”

Read more: Jack Woodley: Killers should be jailed for at least 12 years

Judge Jameson told today’s hearing the starting point for sentence for all ten defendants was 14 years, to be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on aggravating and mitigating features in each case.

He said the sentences imposed were based on their ages and roles in the attack, but he stressed it is the minimum time they will spend behind bars before they can be considered for release by the Parole Board, and that will depend on their behaviour and progress in custody in the intervening years.

It means all will be eligible for consideration for release by the age of 32, including the knife wielder, but in one case it is 22.

All will then be subject to a life-long licence supervision, which if they commit further offences, could see them returned to custody, potentially for life.

Today’s sentencing hearing lasted more than two-and-a-quarter hours and began with the judge keeping so-called “gagging orders”, preventing the lifting of anonymity of any of the defendants, in place for the time being.

Judge Jameson said that was based on the recent news that notices seeking an appeal against conviction have been lodged by lawyers representing nine of the ten defendants.

But once that is resolved he will revisit requests by the media to be allowed to name those responsible.

Opening his sentencing remarks, Judge Jameson told the packed courtroom: “On the evening of Saturday October 16, last year, Jack Woodley went to the final night of the Houghton Feast with his girlfriend and other friends.

“He was 18-years-old and standing at the threshold of his adult life.

“On Monday he was due to start a new job.

“When he left the feast, he was on his way to pick up keys for his new flat.

“He had much to look forward to and must have been full of hopes for the future.

“None of those hopes will now be fulfilled.

“Instead, he was pursued from the feast and attacked.

“During the attack he was stabbed twice.

“The second stab wound penetrated his chest cavity from behind and caused uncontrollable and ultimately fatal bleeding.

“He did not die immediately.

“He was able to get away from the attack into a nearby alley.

“He was pursued into the alley and further punched, kicked and stamped on before most of those who had attacked him ran away.”

Judge Jameson told the youth armed with a knife that he was not convinced he planned the violence with intent to kill, but in the “heat of the moment” he did have deadly intent when he carried out the second, fatal blow.

“It’s exactly the sort of violence that can occur when armed with a deadly knife.

“I’m satisfied you knew what you had done.”

He said, during the trial, the court heard the 15-year-old killer, “showed a remarkable degree of composure”, going home after the attack and changing his clothing, which he photographed in case he came under police questioning later.

He dumped his original clothes in a river and asked a girl to help dispose of the 25cm ‘Rambo-style’ knife used in the attack.

The judge told another of the defendants that in the lead up to the ultimately deadly attack: “Everybody had the opportunity to withdraw, but the mob mentality took over and that led to Jack losing his life.”

He said the group had attacked Mr Woodley “solely for the excitement and pleasure of inflicting serious injury on an entirely innocent and randomly selected stranger”.

The judge told the defendants the violence inflicted on Mr Woodley “though short-lived, was appalling” and all of them “played a part in causing Jack’s death”.

He said six of the teenagers had given evidence during the trial, but none “was prepared to tell the truth about what the others did”.

Judge Jameson told them: “You decided to put the interests of yourself and your co-defendants before those of Jack and his family. You did everything you could to deny them justice.

“I’m sure you do regret what happened for many reasons, but regret is not remorse.”

At the end of the hearing, at the request of prosecuting counsel, Judge Jameson agreed to formally commend the work of six officers who investigated the case.

They are Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Brookes, Detective Sergeant Grant Falconer, Det Sgt Ewan Campbell, Detective Constable Mark Wedderburn, plus PSIs Colin Hurst and Mark Costello.

He said they had performed: “A terrific job. I’m hugely impressed."

Judge Jameson also commended the court clerk throughout the proceedings and the usher.

Read next: 

Jack Woodley murder: Nine teens lodge appeals against conviction

Jack Woodley murder: Mum's heartbreak as Aycliffe teen's killers jailed

Jack Woodley murder: Ten teens are JAILED for minimum of 124 years