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Two teenagers jailed for murdering 15-year-old boy in Stratford

Michael Irving was lured to Stratford and killed by two teenagers he believed to be his friends

Two teenagers have been jailed for a combined 25 years for stabbing 15-year-old Michael Irving to death in Stratford. 

A 17-year-old boy, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 12 March. His 16-year-old accomplice, who was 15 at the time of the attack, previously pleaded guilty to murder. 

Both were sentenced at the Old Bailey yesterday.

The 17-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and 6 months behind bars, while the 16-year-old has been jailed for at least 10 years and 6 months. 

Michael’s mother, Leisa, said: “I am pleased that justice has been served on the youths that killed my son, Michael, nothing will bring my son back but at least these two youths will not be able to plan and kill any other children in the near future.”

A jury heard how the pair planned to lure Michael to his death. They initially arranged to meet him using snapchat on Tuesday, 3 September.

The unsuspecting victim was seen in Westfield Shopping Centre at around 4.20pm. His attackers traveled from Goodmayes, where the older boy was living at the time, to Stratford by bus and arrived at around 6.10pm. 

A friend who saw the three of them meet up said Michael seemed “really happy” and the group had fist-bumped in greeting. 

However, as they walked down Byford Close, the two teenagers attacked Michael and stabbed him four times. Moments before the stabbing, the 15-year-old had changed his clothes and wrapped a t-shirt around his face to conceal his identity. 

Michael was found by a member of the public who was walking down Tennyson Road, near to a block of flats on Byford Close, at around 6.40pm.  

One witness who had seen the two teenagers attacking Michael attempted to give him CPR before emergency services arrived. 

The first paramedic was on the scene by 6.49pm and a full complement of medics arrived by 7pm. 

Despite their best efforts, it became clear their attempts to save Michael’s life were not working and he pronounced dead at 7.45pm. 

Meanwhile, the two murderers were seen running down an alleyway six minutes after Michael was first attacked. CCTV footage showed them changing their clothes and the 16-year-old removing a large knife from between the layers of the two pairs of tracksuit bottoms he was wearing, before placing the weapon into a rucksack.

They attempted to travel back to Goodmayes by train but were stopped for not having a valid ticket and the 15-year-old gave his true details to a rail inspector.

Police arrested the 16-year-old on suspicion of murder on the same day of the attack. Two days later they arrested the 15-year-old and charged him with the same offence. 

On Thursday, 13 February 2020, the 15-year-old pleaded guilty to Michael’s murder.

The motive for the murder remains unclear. However, the court heard that Michael had come home earlier than expected after going to stay with the 16-year-old for a short period prior to the attack.

The group did not seem to have fallen out during this time and Michael was happy to see those who he believed to be his friends at Westfield that afternoon.

“It is never a good day when two teenagers are sentenced for murder, however, both of those imprisoned are callous in nature and unremorseful about violently taking away Michael’s life,” said Detective Chief Inspector Mark Wrigley.  

“We can only hope that Michael’s family, who have remained dignified throughout this traumatic process, can take the smallest degree of comfort that the criminal process is now complete.

“They will continue to have our support as they continue to grieve for a son lost to violence.”

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