Mum of murdered schoolboy shot and stabbed by four teens tells how her ‘heart is broken beyond repair’
Keon Lincoln, 15, was shot and stabbed to death by four teenagers who have now been convicted of his murder
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The mum of a schoolboy stabbed and shot to death by four teenagers has told of how she is in a “nightmare she can’t wake up from”.
The teens were found guilty of murdering 15-year-old Keon Lincoln during a gang attack outside his home.
A fifth teen has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Keon Lincoln was stabbed eight times and shot twice during the “short and brutal” 30-second onslaught in Handsworth, Birmingham on January 21.
A court heard he was repeatedly knifed by the by the machete-wielding masked gang who got out of a stolen car, a white Ford S Max which they crashed into a house afterwards, and chased him along Linwood Road.
After being “stabbed and hacked at” with the large knives Keon was then shot in the stomach by a 14-year-old gunman as he lay defenceless on the ground.
Victim’s mum heard the gunshots
The gunshots prompted Keon’s mum Sharmaine to run from her home into the street and she was heard screaming: “He’s only 15” as her son lay dying.
The youngster was rushed to hospital following the broad daylight attack which was caught on CCTV - but passed away two hours later.
Last month five teenagers, aged between 14 and 18, went on trial accused of murder at Birmingham Crown Court.
The 14-year-old boy, from Birmingham and a 16-year-old from Walsall, West Midlands, cannot be named for legal reasons because of their ages.
They denied murder along with Tahjgeem Breakenridge, 18, and Michael Ugochukwu, 18, both from Birmingham.
A jury unanimously found the four teenagers guilty of murder after deliberating for ten hours following a four-week long trial.
The public gallery remained silent while the verdicts were read out as the judge had instructed them to be beforehand.
On Friday Kieron Donaldson, of Aston Lane, Birmingham, was convicted of manslaughter.
He was the only one aged 18 at the time of Keon’s murder and, although not present at the attack, had supplied the weapons that were used to inflict the brutal injuries on the teenager.
‘I’m in a nightmare that I cannot wake from’
Keon’s mother Sharmaine spoke of her grief and her hope that “senseless” murders of youngsters such as her son would come to an end.
She said: “I’m in a nightmare that I cannot wake up from. My heart is broken beyond repair. A piece of my soul has been taken from me.
“I see my baby boy’s face as he lay slumped on the ground struggling to breathe.
“I hear the words ‘his heart has stopped’. I miss my boy so much that it physically hurts.
“I would not wish this suffering on anyone and I can only hope that a day will come when the senseless murdering of children, will come to an end.”
Close family friend Reverend Neville Popo knew Keon all his life and has supported his family in their most desperate time of need. He said: “On the 21 January the lives of so many would never be the same. This is the harrowing day that Keon Lincoln was so brutally taken from us in what can only be described as senseless violence.
“When young people attach themselves to potentially violent groups and then begin to act out moments of violence, they are never truly aware of the consequences of their actions.
“We know that the system offers consequences to deter such behaviour, but other than the potential fear of arrest and incarceration, I argue that young people do not think about how their actions impact the lives of so many others.
“Young people that kill fail to understand that once they have taken a life, they cannot reverse their actions; they must live with this reality for the rest of their lives and all that comes with it.”
No precise motive for the attack
The court was told there was no precise motive for the attack but that it was clearly planned by the gang.
The 14-year-old boy was said to know Keon but “they had never fallen out”.
After leaving Keon lying in a pool of blood, the masked teenagers escaped in a stolen Ford C-Max, which later crashed in Wheeler Street, Birmingham.
Forensic evidence including a hunting knife was recovered from the vehicle, which was caught on CCTV arriving and leaving the scene.
Ugochukwu and Breakenridge were also caught on security cameras wielding knives in chilling CCTV released by West Midlands Police.
Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC told the court previously: “Plainly, it’s obvious this attack was planned. The attackers were out together armed with weapons.
“In the case of the 14-year-old, he was armed with a gun loaded with ammunition.
“The CCTV shows one of the individuals had a gun and shot at Keon Lincoln twice.
“One of the shots hit Keon Lincoln in the stomach and caused fatal injuries.
“The prosecution say the gunman was, and is, 14 years old.
“Keon was shot at whilst he was on the ground. Still, the group continued to attack him, stabbing and hacking at him with large knives.
“When you consider all the evidence from the CCTV and phone records, it is clear that these defendants were all involved in the murder of Keon Lincoln.”
Breakenridge, of Balsall Heath, Ugochukwu, of Edgbaston , and the 16-year-old, were also found guilty of unlawful possession of a knife. The 14-year-old. who showed little emotion as the verdicts were returned, was also convicted of possessing a handgun with intent to endanger life.
They will be sentenced at the same court on November 29.
‘They will now have a long time to reflect on their actions’
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough is leading the investigation. He said: “The murder of Keon Lincoln not only devastated his family, but brought shock and sadness to the whole community.
“Not least because an attack so brutal could be carried out in broad daylight on a schoolboy, by others just as young, if not younger.
“The wave of disbelief was followed by anger and grief, but ultimately unity as everyone pulled together to support Keon’s family, vowing that this should not happen to another family.
“The utter sadness here is that not only has Keon’s family been left without him, but these young killers now face life in prison, away from their own families, and for what?
“We have not been able to establish why Keon was murdered. Only his killers know that, but they will now have a long time to reflect on their actions.”