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Two 12-year-olds killed man with machete blows to the skull and heart, jury told

Shawn Seesahai (West Midlands Police)
Shawn Seesahai (West Midlands Police)

Two 12-year-old boys used a machete to murder an “utterly defenceless” man, slashing his legs and inflicting an injury that went through his back and ribs into his heart, a court has heard.

Jurors were told that Shawn Seesahai, 19, had offered no violence and done nothing to offend either of the boys, but was hit so hard on the skull that a piece of bone came away.

Both youths, who cannot be named because of their age, deny murdering Mr Seesahai, who was pronounced dead at the scene on Stowlawn playing fields in Wolverhampton on the night of November 13 last year.

Shawn Seesahai death
Floral tributes left at the scene in Wolverhampton (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Opening the Crown’s case at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, prosecution KC Michelle Heeley said: “Shawn Seesahai was murdered by being struck with a machete to his back, legs and skull.

“He was also beaten and kicked. The Crown say that these two defendants were jointly responsible for that attack.”

Ms Heeley told the court Mr Seesahai, who lived in Handsworth in Birmingham but was originally from Anguilla in the Caribbean, had travelled to the UK to receive treatment for cataracts.

On November 13, he had travelled with friends to Wolverhampton, while the two 12-year-olds were together from 4.10pm that afternoon, meeting two girls of around the same age who are witnesses in the case.

The jury heard that one of the girls told police that one of the defendants regularly carried a machete, that he had a machete that day, and that he and other boy “were passing it between themselves”.

Ms Heeley told the jury: “Those boys had gone out armed with a lethal weapon, we have it here in court so you can see the size of it.”

Shawn Seesahai death
Police at the scene last November (Stephanie Wareham/PA)

Holding up the machete, which was contained in a see-through case, Ms Heeley told the court: “It’s understandable how a weapon of this type and size could cause fatal injuries in such a short space of time.

“Whilst these two boys were roaming the streets with a deadly weapon, Mr Seesahi was just with his friends.”

After spending a period of time sitting with a friend on a bench and walking near basketball courts, the court heard Mr Seesahai and his friend “came together” with the defendants as the boys passed the machete between them, with one commenting “Keep stepping”.

The weapon had been taken out of one of the boys’ trousers and was made available to be used “despite the fact Shawn Seesahai and his friends had offered no violence, nor done anything to offend (the youths)”.

Ms Heeley added: “CCTV captured the group but is not detailed enough to see exactly what passed between them.

“Shawn Seesahai’s friend said that (one of the boys) deliberately shoulder-brushed Mr Seesahai, who responded ‘What the f***’.

Crown court stock
The trial is taking place at Nottingham Crown Court (PA Archive)

“At this point, (the boy alleged to have shoulder-brushed the victim) pulled a machete from his trousers. Mr Seesahai told his friend to run and he ran.”

The court heard that the friend managed to escape and looked back to see Mr Seesahai on the floor, surrounded by the defendants.

Although the friend did not see the “vicious attack” that ensued, Ms Heeley said one of the girls who had been with the 12-year-olds told police that both had been in possession of the machete and one often carried it.

The witness described seeing one boy pick up the machete and hold it in the air, Mr Seesahai falling to the floor and then being punched and kicked.

Ms Heeley added: “She told police she saw (a defendant) using the machete on Mr Seesahai’s legs, and also saw (the other defendant) punching and stamping on his head.

“The prosecution say the two boys were engaged in a joint attack upon a man who had done nothing wrong, a man with no weapon, who was utterly defenceless on the ground.

“We say that these two boys were acting together and meant to kill Mr Seesahai, at the very least they intended to cause really serious harm.

“As a result of their actions, Shawn Seesahai died at the scene. He had been hit so hard to the skull with the machete that a piece of bone had actually come away.

“He had slash wounds on his leg, and most significantly he had an injury from the machete that went through his body all the way from his back, through his ribs and into his heart.”

After the killing, the court heard, Mr Seesahai’s friend called the police, who attended and began to carry out CPR but it was apparent from the severity of the injuries suffered that he was already dead.

The jurors were told one of the defendants has admitted a count alleging unlawful possession of a machete, while the other boy denies the same charge.

The youths, who each claim the other was responsible for the violence used, were allowed to sit alongside relatives in the back row of the court, rather than in the glass-fronted dock, as the case against them was opened.

During the Crown’s opening speech, it was alleged the boys met up with the two girls at about 4.15pm.

Mr Seesahai, the court heard, arrived in the area with two friends via Priestfield tram stop, where he was caught on CCTV at about 6.13pm.

Although CCTV cameras did not capture the fatal attack in the minutes after 8.15pm, evidence showed Mr Seesahai had earlier visited a petrol station and had been in the park waiting with one of his friends, while his second friend was visiting his girlfriend.

The trial continues.