Man guilty of murdering teenager in ‘gratuitous and senseless’ attack

A man has been found guilty of murdering a teenager in a “gratuitous and senseless” act of violence – with the verdict coming on the day the Government launched its plan to get tough on crime.

Sarmad Al-Saidi, 16, was stabbed in the chest and legs on December 23 last year in the conservatory of a property in Preston, Lancashire, and died four days later in hospital.

On Tuesday (July 17), Jamie Dixon was found guilty of murder following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Lancashire Live reported.

Earlier, a 16-year-old boy had pleaded guilty to murder while a 17-year-old boy was found guilty of conspiring to commit the assault that led to his death. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

The court heard the 17-year-old had texted Sarmad to find out his location under the pretence of discussing a £25 debt.

The 17-year-old entered the conservatory of the property in Chatham Place, Preston, armed with a baseball bat, and urged Sarmad to lay down a machete while Dixon and the 16-year-old waited around the corner, the jury heard.

Dixon and the 16-year-old then donned balaclavas after hearing Sarmad was unarmed, entered the conservatory and stabbed him with a hunting knife and machete.

Two minutes later, Dixon and the 16-year-old fled the scene with their weapons, while the 17-year-old remained at the scene and pretended not to know the identity of Sarmad’s attackers, the court heard.

Police later retrieved a video from the 16-year-old’s phone in which he was seen waving his weapon and describing how he “stabbed Sarmad up”, while the 17-year-old admitted knowing his attackers but said they acted of their own volition and without his support.

The 16-year-old was arrested on Christmas Eve and claimed he had wanted to hurt Sarmad but did not want to cause serious harm.

Dixon was also arrested on Christmas Eve but refused to answer officers’ questions, the court heard.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, Dixon was unanimously found guilty of murder while the 17-year-old was found not guilty of murder but guilty of conspiracy to commit Section 18 Assault.

Dixon, of Clayton Avenue, Leyland; the 16-year-old; and the 17-year-old will be sentenced on September 30.

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