16-year-old found guilty of murdering Josh Hall in Cam

A 16-year-old youth has been found guilty today of murdering Joshua Hall, 17, by stabbing him when they met up to ‘sort out their differences’ at Cam earlier this year.

The boy, who was 15 at the time he killed Joshua, burst into tears as the jury of eight men and three women delivered the guilty verdict shortly after 1.30pm today. He was comforted by his mother, who stood beside him for the announcement.

The jury had taken three hours and nine minutes to reach their verdict.

During the two and a half week trial at Gloucester Crown Court the jury was told by prosecutor James Dawes QC that there had been some hostility between the two youths and that they had arranged to meet at a sports ground in Cam on April 16th.

However the defendant took a knife with him to the rendezvous and concealed it in his waistband. He used it to stab Joshua six times – almost severing his thumb from his hand, and penetrating his abdomen and the top of his arm.

Despite quick medical intervention from paramedics called to the scene, Joshua died from his injuries at Southmead Hospital in Bristol the following day.

In his summing up at the end of the trial the judge, Mr Justice Chamberlain pointed out to the jury that the whole incident lasted less than two minutes, which included walking to and from the confrontation exchange.

He added: “In just one minute the defendant and Joshua exchanged words, got involved in pushing and shoving each other followed by the youth withdrawing his knife and stabbing his victim at least six times. This was followed by another exchange of words, after which the youth fled from the scene.”

Edward Brown QC, defending, had asked the defendant when he was in the witness box last week: “Did you ultimately hold the knife that caused Joshua’s death?” to which the smartly dressed boy simply replied, ‘Yes’.

Mr Brown said in his closing speech to the jurors that they should put all emotions aside as they examined the evidence and he added: “You have to decide if the defendant intended to kill Joshua or cause him serious injury.

“His account is that ‘if others carry a knife, so should I.’ But that does not mean that he had a murderous intent.”

After giving evidence in his own defence at the court, the 16-year-old youth apologised to the victim’s parents Kirsty and Michael Hall and added that if he could turn back time, he would.

The jury heard during the trial, which sat according to the timings of a school day because of the number of young witnesses, that when the defendant dialled the police he told the call handler that he ‘didn’t mean to do it’ and stated to the arresting police officer: “It was me, I did it okay. I did it. I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to, honestly. Why did I do it?”

After receiving the guilty verdict on the murder charge, the judge said that the defendant could not be sentenced today and he provisionally set the date of December 17th for this to be done after pre-sentence reports have been obtained.

The boy was remanded in custody pending sentence. He and his mother hugged before he was taken down to the cells.

Josh Hall’s parents have released a statement following today’s guilty verdict. See:  https://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/news/19692184.josh-halls-parents-release-statement-todays-guilty-verdict/

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