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A teenager, aged 15, has been sentenced to life detention with a minimum term of 12 years following the tragic incident where he fatally stabbed another teenager.
“I’ve wetted your boy,” exclaimed Leighton Amies as he directed his words towards a cluster of young individuals. This distressing incident took place at a nature park in Gateshead last October when Amies, with a single blow to the chest, fatally stabbed 14-year-old Tomasz Oleszak.
During sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court Mr. Justice Martin Spencer commented, “that statement was made ‘triumphantly’.” The judge further noted that Amies had “relished” the possession of a knife on that fateful night, which he had obtained from his own kitchen at home.
Amies, who was also 14 years old at the time, was found guilty of the murder of Tomasz last month.
Recently disclosed information reveals that he had been expelled from his primary school for making threats to stab a teacher, and later, from secondary school due to an incident of arson where he set fire to a plastic window.
Following his arrest, police discovered incriminating images indicating his keen interest in knives.
Speaking of Tomasz, the judge told the teenage defendant: “This was the beautiful, exceptional, gifted boy whose life you, Leighton, brought to an end.”
Acknowledging that Amies did not initiate the incident, the judge affirmed that Tomasz bore no responsibility for what occurred. The judge also emphasized that the group of individuals who followed Amies must come to terms with the fact that their “stupidity” led to Tomasz’s tragic demise.
In addition to his actions towards Tomasz, Amies had also slashed the coat of another member of the group. Consequently, he was convicted of attempted grievous bodily harm and received a concurrent sentence of 13 months.
It was revealed that Amies had previously admitted to carrying a bladed weapon.
While being held in secure accommodation, Amies has shown progress in his education, according to the judge. His reading skills have advanced from a level equivalent to that of a 10-year-old to beyond the age of 13.
He told Amies: “You took the knife to the scene, intending to have it available to use as a weapon, which you then did.
“Once you have served the minimum term, less the time spent on remand, you will then be eligible for early release but you will remain on licence for the rest of your life and may be recalled to custody at any time.”
Last October, Amies and his girlfriend were taking a stroll through Whitehills Nature Park at approximately 8 p.m. when they were pursued by a group of youths.
Amies, providing his reasoning, claimed that he carried a serrated kitchen knife in his jacket pocket for a sense of “reassurance.”
Following his conviction, Mr. Justice Spencer lifted a media ban on identifying Amies, aiming to discourage other teenagers from carrying knives.
During the trial, Peter Makepeace KC, in defence of Amies, assured the jury that his client had not been actively seeking trouble.
“This is a 14-year-old under group attack and having to make terrible decisions under a moment’s notice,” he said.
Tomasz’s mother, Kamila Wisniewska, paid tribute to her “kind, loving and sporty” older son, who was born in Poland and moved with his family to Gateshead in 2012.
She said he was popular, respectful and hated violence.
Ms Wisniewska was called to the scene of the stabbing. “I have flashbacks to that night, trying desperately to keep my boy alive,” she said.
Speaking outside court, Detective Inspector Chris Deavin said: “This is a truly tragic case and our thoughts very much remain with Tomasz’s heartbroken family and loved ones, who are facing the worst sentence of all – a life without Tomasz.
“This case should send an unequivocal message to anyone who chooses to carry a weapon of any kind or believes that violence is acceptable that the consequences can be devastating.
“Look at the pain this tragedy has caused – not only could you take away someone else’s future and destroy the lives of their loved ones, but also ruin your own life and those of your family and friends.”