Khayri Mclean: Boy, 17, guilty of murder after ‘lying in wait’ to stab 15-year-old outside school

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Khayri Mclen was fatally stabbed while making his way home from school

A teenager has been found guilty of murdering a 15-year-old boy in a “planned and targeted attack” as he walked home from school.

Khayri Mclean, 15, was fatally stabbed as he made his way home from North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS), West Yorkshire, on 21 September last year.

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A 17-year-old boy, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was found guilty of Khayri’s murder at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday (23 March). A 15-year-old youth admitted murder at a previous hearing.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford KC told the court that the two teenagers were lying in wait armed with knives, and wearing balaclavas and black clothes, as Khayri left the school on Woodhouse Hill with his friends.

Khayri Mclen was fatally stabbed while making his way home from school (Photo: West Yorkshire Police / PA)Khayri Mclen was fatally stabbed while making his way home from school (Photo: West Yorkshire Police / PA)
Khayri Mclen was fatally stabbed while making his way home from school (Photo: West Yorkshire Police / PA) | West Yorkshire Police / PA

The 15-year-old shouted “Oi Khayri” or “Yo Khayri” before jumping in the air, swinging a knife with a 30cm blade and stabbing their victim in the chest, the court was told.

The pair then “charged” towards him aggressively and the youngest of the two stabbed Khayri in the chest. The attack proved to be fatal as the blade went through his ribs and penetrated one of his lungs and heart.

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Mr Sandiford said Khayri fell to the floor and was “defenceless on his back” when the older teen, who denied murder, went after him armed with a knife and stabbed him in his lower leg.

While this did not inflict a fatal blow, the 17-year-old was found guilty of murder because the pair acted together and were “encouraging and supporting each other to carry out that attack”.

After stabbing Khayri, the pair ran off back down an alleyway from where they emerged to attack him, the court heard. Mr Sandiford said they stopped to remove their balaclavas and the clothes worn for the attack, which were disposed of in bags in woodland and later retrieved by others.

Jurors heard that Khayri was helped up by his friends after being stabbed and managed to run a short distance back towards his school before he collapsed. Paramedics, a passing doctor and air ambulance staff kept him alive long enough for him to be transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where he died later the same day.

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Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Khayri staggering backwards after the fatal blow and falling to the ground before being stabbed by the older defendant.

Mr Sandiford told the jury of eight women and four men: “The prosecution says this was a well-planned and targeted attack on Khayri Mclean with the intention of killing him or at least causing him really serious harm.”

Giving evidence, the 17-year-old denied targeting Khayri, telling the court he went to the scene for a “fist fight” with another youth. He said he swung the knife as he was panicking at the scene and thought Khayri was trying to trip him. The teenager said he did not realise he had stabbed him until police told him after his arrest. The boy showed no emotion as the jury verdict was read out after just under five hours of deliberations.

The judge, Mrs Justice Farbey, told the older defendant, who cannot be named, there will be a hearing on Thursday (23 March) to discuss the next steps in the case but sentencing will take place at a later date to be fixed.

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Detective Superintendent Marc Bowes of West Yorkshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “We welcome the verdict of the jury today and will now await the sentencing of both these youths for Khayri’s murder. Our thoughts are with Khayri’s relatives as they process the news from today and we continue to support them.”