A gang of five teenagers who chased an apprentice bricklayer into a launderette before stabbing the man to death have been jailed in Liverpool.
Sean ‘Shorty’McHugh, 19, ran from the “marauding mob” before being cornered inside the launderette in Anfield.
He begged the launderette manager to call police and hid inside the shop’s back room, Liverpool Crown Court heard during a two-month trial.
The gang – led by drug-dealer Reese O’Shaughnessy, who was armed with a sword stick – kicked down the launderette door.
CCTV of the attack in May showed the teenagers striking Mr McHugh, who was stabbed in the leg with the sword stick, severing his femoral artery.
Police later found him bleeding at the scene. He died in hospital a few days later.
A total of five teenagers were found guilty of the murder. A sixth person was acquitted.
The five people jailed were 19-year-old O’Shaughnessy, Keyfer Dykstra, 14, Andrew Hewitt, 15, Corey Hewitt, 14, and Joseph McGill, 14.
Prosecutors were unable to prove who struck the fatal blow in the attack, and many of the boys blamed each other during the trial.
The boys were members of the Laneheads gang, a group named after the group’s territory near the Townsend Lane area of Anfield.
The victim’s family sat in court as the teenagers were sentenced.
Mr McHugh’s mother, Lorraine McHugh, said the perpetrators had “carried on” during their trial, “laughing, smirking, (and) throwing paper”.
O’Shaughnessy was given a minimum sentence before parole of 18 years.
Andrew Hewitt received a minimum sentence of nine years, while Corey Hewitt received a minimum sentence of six years.
McGill received a minimum sentence of nine years, and Dykstra a minimum sentence of 12 years.
Jailing the gang, Judge Clement GoldstoneQCcalled the crime “a truly wicked attack”.