Four face jail over 22-second fatal stabbing of teenager

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Four teenagers face years behind bars for fatally stabbing an 18-year-old while he was out walking with his girlfriend.

Azaan John Kaleem, known as AJ, was fatally wounded in an attack in Luton, Bedfordshire, with knives and a knuckle duster which took just 22 seconds.

A group of youths rounded on him as he walked with his girlfriend and a friend alongside Hartsfield Road at about 5.20pm on March 22.

Mr Kaleem was left bleeding on the ground and died in hospital two days later.

Harrison Searle, 18, from Luton, who delivered the final blow, was found guilty of murder following a four-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Two teenagers, aged 18 and 19, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were also convicted of murder.

Reece Bliss-McGrath, 20, was cleared of murder but was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Detective Inspector Dani Bailey, who led the investigation, said: “This was a truly horrendous act, which has not only resulted in a young man losing his life but has left a mother and father without their only child.

“This group carried out an unrelenting and brutal attack on Azaan, who offered no aggression whatsoever, right in front of his girlfriend, who will no doubt be affected for the rest of her life.”

The victim’s mother Roseann Taylor described her “living nightmare”.

She said: “Azaan had an amazing personality and would light up a room wherever he went.

“When the trial started I came with the intention to try my hardest to reach a place of forgiveness.

“I’m sad to say that the way the group has acted in court, and the complete lack of remorse they have shown, means I’ve not managed this.”

The four defendants from Luton will be sentenced on December 17.

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