LONDON: Two boys aged 12 appeared in an English court today charged with murder and possessing a machete, the latest in a string of fatal cases involving school children.
Nineteen-year-old Shawn Seesahai, described by his family as “a courageous and compassionate young man”, was pronounced dead at the scene of an attack in the central city of Wolverhampton on Monday.
The case comes amid growing alarm in the UK at the level of knife crime, particularly among teenagers.
In September, 15-year-old Elianne Andam was stabbed to death in south London on her way to school.
The schoolgirl was the 15th teenager killed in London this year. Of those, 13 were stabbed, while two were shot.
The two 12-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke only to confirm their personal details during a 10-minute hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
Their lawyers said they would deny the murder charge.
A judge remanded the boys into youth detention.
Seesahai’s mother paid tribute to her son in a statement earlier.
“He cared dearly about his family and friends and he absolutely loved to help people,” she said.
According to official figures, 99 people under the age of 25 were killed in the UK and Wales with a knife or sharp object in the year to March 2023.
Of those, 13 were under the age of 16.
The deaths were among 50,000 stabbing incidents in the year to March 2023 – a 5% increase on the previous year and a 75% increase on a decade ago, the Office for National Statistics said.