Telford murder: Teenage killers await sentencing after being found guilty

Two teenagers face the equivalent of life sentences after being found guilty of the brutal murder of Peter Cairns in a violent clash in Telford.

Stafford Crown Court, The Combined Court Centre, Victoria Square, Stafford
Stafford Crown Court, The Combined Court Centre, Victoria Square, Stafford

Another teenager has already admitted killing the 26-year-old Aston Villa fan by stabbing him in the heart after an incident in Rough Park Way, Telford, on July 11, 2021.

A third young man, now aged 16, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter and was freed from Court One at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday.

The two teenagers, who were found guilty by a jury of eight women and two men after a trial that started on March 28, now face waiting until sometime after July 11 to find out how long they will be locked up.

Trial judge Lord Justice Spencer praised members of the public, including parents of the three teenagers for the "very dignified way" they had conducted themselves throughout the long trial.

When the verdicts were read out by the forewoman of the jury at just after 2.20pm and 17 hours and 46 minutes of deliberations, there was no reaction from the public gallery. One of the teenagers found guilty looked stunned, while the other was shaking his head.

Pre-sentence reports will now be prepared on the two teenagers and the young man who has admitted the murder before a sentencing hearing sometime in July.

Reporting restrictions on identifying the young men will remain in place.

His Lordship praised the jurors for their "diligence and application" during what was a "quite exceptional" and "emotionally draining" trial.

"This is likely to be the most important public duty you will carry out. On behalf of the public, I thank you for your jury service."

The judge granted the jurors a seven-year exemption from jury service as a result of their emotional experiences during the trial, if they wish to use it.

There were also tears of joy for the parents of the one teenager who was found not guilty and who have been attending on every single day of the trial, and were giving him hugs and joining in congratulating their barristers and legal team afterwards.

And speaking after the proceedings, Lisa Cairns, the mother of the murder victim, Peter Cairns, said she did not blame the parents of any of the young men involved.

"You can't watch over them all the time," she said. "They get in with the wrong crowd. Not enough is done to keep them out of trouble."

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