Schoolboy, 14, ‘stabbed man, 53, to death’ outside Asda

An IT expert was stabbed to death outside an Asda supermarket after he challenged a group of youths for “messing about in the toilets”, a court heard.

Ian Kirwan, 53, died after being knifed in the heart in front of horrified shoppers in Redditch, Worcestershire.

Five youths, aged between 13 and 16, went on trial on Wednesday accused of murder, manslaughter and violent disorder.

One of the defendants, 14, has accepted inflicting the fatal blow to Mr Kirwan, jurors were told.

The 14-year-old also pleaded not guilty to a further offence of possession of a bladed article in public.

The court heard how local man Mr Kirwan, a software engineer who worked for Jaguar Land Rover, left his home on March 8 to do some shopping before popping into Asda to use the toilet.

After he let the store, he is said to have asked a group of lads why they were “messing about in the toilet”.

Prosecutor Benjamin Aina KC told jurors this was the moment the victim was stabbed through the heart.

He told Birmingham Crown Court: “Ian Kirwan left his home in Redditch with the intention of going to B&Q to buy a light switch.

“About 7.15pm in the evening, Ian Kirwan went into Asda and entered the customer toilets.

“When he did so he came into contact with a group of five young males who were messing about in the toilets.

“A little later he left the toilets, he left the Asda store and some of these boys were outside.

“He challenged them ‘why were you messing about in the toilet?’, words to that effect, and a scuffle broke out”.

Mr Aina told the court that there is “no dispute” that the 14-year-old principle defendant was the person who stabbed Mr Kirwan.

However, he said that at the time he was stabbed all five of the youths were “acting together”, and were “assisting or encouraging” the youngster.

“They all intended that Mr Kirwan should be caused at least really serious harm with the knife that was used,” he added.

“Therefore the prosecution say in law all five boys were jointly responsible for Mr Kirwan’s death.”

The prosecutor continued that on the night Mr Kirwan died, the five defendants were part of a larger group who “all had their faces covered with face coverings”, as they travelled on a train.

“They were dressed to cover their identities”, he said.

Describing the group’s train journey from Birmingham to Redditch as “anti-social”, Mr Aina told the court the youths were “climbing chairs, throwing rubbish and causing members of the public to move away”.

The prosecutor added: “During the course of the journey something very important happened.

“During the course of this journey that knife was captured on CCTV footage.”

The jury heard that Mr Kirwan had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Mr Aina said: “If he felt under threat his arms would go out”.

He noted that the 14-year-old defendant also suffered from mental health disorders, but said that it instead was a “behavioural disorder” in his mind at the time of the killing.

The group all deny charges of murder, manslaughter and violent disorder on Wednesday over the attack.