Sunday, January 1, 2012
On the 29th of September, 2003, 17-year-old Sean Whyte died in Burnley General Hospital after being stabbed outside his home in Colne, Lancashire.
Sean's aunt, Agnes Rennie suffered stab wounds to her shoulder and neck during the same incident and was also taken to Burnley General.
On the evening of the day he died, Sean was singing to his mother at a family birthday party. Just moments later he was dying in her arms. Mary Whyte said:
"My baby is gone and we have been given a life sentence. What have we got to look forward to in life knowing he is no longer with us?"
In court, Anthony Gee QC, prosecuting, said a guest called Hugh O'Neil had left the party with Michael Stuart. He continued:
"They met Wasim and they had an argument which seems to have been about £8 owed by Michael Stuart to Wasim, borrowed the day before. They had a fight and Mr Stuart ran off into number nine to tell the occupants what had happened.
Some came out and witnesses describe a group of 10 to 12 Asian males who had come out of 31 North Street.
An argument over a loan of £8 escalated into a fight and escalated still further into appalling violence."
Anthony Gee went on to say Hasan Mumtaz had armed himself with a knife and pair of scissors. He said the scissors had been used to inflict three wounds on Agnes Rennie's head, shoulder and upper arm which required 20 stitches.
He also said Wasim and Sean had been fighting separately from the group and Hasan had run up to Sean and stabbed him in the chest, creating a wound about 18cm deep which pierced his heart and other organs.
Mr Gee said plainclothes police officers attended the scene, had seen Hasan with a knife and followed him to his home. They arrested him after finding a pair of scissors pushed behind a chair. The bloodstained knife was later recovered in the garden of another home in North Street.
18-year-old Hasan Mumtaz and his brother Wasim admitted that they wer present when Sean was stabbed.
However, Hasan Mumtaz denied the charges of murder and wounding with intent at Preston Crown Court and, even though he was found guilty of the unlawful wounding of another person on the same night, the Preston jury found him not guilty of Sean's murder.
He was convicted of violent disorder only.
Detective Inspector Tony Harling said:
"We won't be reopening the case and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with Sean's death."
Sean's family had moved to England from Scotland seeking a "fresh start."
They have since returned to Scotland.
Sean's body was taken to Scotland and he is buried there.
One day, when the English take their country back, we'll be checking up on the ethnic composition of such juries as this.
You should remember this when you're fixing to find the guilty, innocent.
Peter Pike, New Labour MP for Burnley, never mentioned his constituent, Sean Whyte, in the House of Commons. (For Pike’s PC credentials, go here)