Teenagers jailed for life for 'barbaric' murder of Birstall man Robert Wilson

Two teenagers have been jailed for life after admitting the murder of a Birstall man in offences described as 'barbaric' by senior police officers.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 8:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 9:02 pm

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, of Field Lane, Batley, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, from Arthur Street, Huddersfield were both sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today after pleading guilty to the murder of 53-year-old Robert Wilson in Linthwaite on January 16, 2020.

Earnshaw also pleaded guilty to a Section 18 assault on Mr John Badejo, another victim of the incident.

Earnshaw was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 21 years and 140 days for the murder and 9 years for the Section 18 assault to run concurrently while Gaukroger was sentenced to life with a minimum jail term of 16 years and 17 days.

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Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16,

Officers were called to the Thornton and Ross premises in Linthwaite at 11.45pm on January 16 to a report that a serious assault on two males was underway.

Police attended and quickly located the two defendants who were attacking Mr Wilson.

Both fled but were swiftly detained and medical attention was provided to the victim. Despite this however, it was quickly apparent he had already suffered none survivable injuries.

Following enquiries it was determined the males had entered the site with teenage friends and were in a smoking shelter when Mr Wilson and two colleagues including Mr Badejo, walked towards them.

They advised Earnshaw, Gaukroger and the others that they were trespassing and said they should leave before the police arrived. They also tried to assist them in finding a mobile phone which one of the group said they had dropped.

The other teenagers fled after Earnshaw produced a sword which he then used to inflict a serious hand injury on Mr Badejo and, in concert with Gaukroger, fatal injuries on Mr Wilson, in a completely unprovoked attack.

Mr Badejo required extensive hospital treatment after the attack and is still recovering to this day.

DCI Marc Bowes of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “The murder of Mr Wilson and the serious assault on Mr Badejo were truly dreadful offences in what was a horrendous incident for the community of Linthwaite.

"It is no exaggeration to say the level of violence used by these males in the attacks was absolutely barbaric.

"Nothing can alter the tragic outcome of this night but I do sincerely hope that the family of Robert, Mr Badejo and his wider family, and all those affected by this senseless incident can take some measure of comfort in seeing these two individuals jailed for such a long period."