Two teenagers found guilty of killing a man who was stabbed in Cheshire
Two teenagers have been found guilty of killing a man at an 18th birthday party in Cheshire.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that a 15 year old boy and a then 17 year old boy killed 18 year old Eddie O’Rourke at the Royal British Legion Club in Runcorn on the evening of 7 September 2018.
The court heard that Joe Ward, of Lockfield in Runcorn, who can now be named as he’s turned 18, had a grudge against Mr O’Rourke because he was going out with his ex-girlfriend.
The two men exchanged words at the party and went outside but returned to the party.
CCTV showed how the 15 year old defendant, who can’t be named because of his age, then handed Ward a knife with a 12 inch blade which he took from the waistband of his trousers.
The two then went outside with Mr O’Rourke and got into a fight with him. Ward then stabbed Mr O’Rourke in the stomach. Mr O’Rourke was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards.
Today (5 April 2019) a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found Joe Ward guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon. They found the 15 year old guilty of manslaughter and possession of an offensive weapon. The 15 year old had been jointly accused of murder with Ward but the jury acquitted him of that.
Damion Lloyd of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was meant to be a party to mark a young person’s coming of age.
“Instead, these two defendants used it as opportunity to kill another young person that they had some sort of a grudge against.
“Eddie O’Rourke was going out with Joe Ward’s ex-girlfriend. And that appears to have been the key reason why the victim was killed. What a shocking explanation for the loss of a young life.
“The 15 year old defendant went to a party, armed with a knife with a 12 inch blade – how could that ever be an acceptable course of action? He handed it to his friend who then used it to stab Mr O’Rourke in the stomach. Ward has been found guilty of murder. The 15 year old supplied him with the knife and was part of the fight that led up to the stabbing and the jury have found him guilty of manslaughter.
“The jury have found these teenagers guilty of some of the most serious offences in the criminal justice system and they can now expect substantial jail terms as a result. “The name of Eddie O’Rourke is added to the dreadful rollcall of young men who’ve died as a result of knife crime in this country. The Crown Prosecution Service would like to extend condolences to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”