Teenagers murdered factory supervisor with more than 100 blows of Samurai sword

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Two teenagers have been given life sentences for murdering factory supervisor Robert Wilson with a Samurai sword.

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, were given minimum terms of 22 years and 16 years, eight months respectively at Leeds Crown Court.

Wilson suffered more than 100 blows from a Samurai sword in Huddersfield.

CCTV footage, played in court on Wednesday, showed how Robert Wilson, 53, was investigating youths hanging around outside the Thornton and Ross pharmaceutical plant in Huddersfield when he was attacked by Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and 16-year-old Luke Gaukroger, who passed a 20in sword between them, at one point trying to decapitate their helpless victim.

Audio recorded from Mr Wilson's phone call to a security firm captured the younger of the two – who was 15 at the time – shouting "get his head, I want to cut his head, Kia I want to cut his head".

The recording, also played in court, captured the night shift supervisor's pleas to the youths to stop their attack.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Mr Wilson was married with two grown-up children and enjoyed gardening, golf and walking in the Yorkshire Dales.

His wife Elaine told the court his death was "completely incomprehensible", adding: "How on earth have we come to this and why?"

She said she was sickened to receive a letter from one of the defendants saying it was the "worse night of my life and 'I'm sorry"'. She told the judge she had been shocked to "feel so much hate".

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She said to the defendants: "I want you to know you have taken the life of a much respected, admired and good man."

Peter Makepeace QC, prosecuting, told the court that Earnshaw started the attack after producing the blue sword from inside his tracksuit bottoms.

After he started raining blows on Mr Wilson, the younger teenager was heard repeatedly shouting: "Pass me the shank, pass me the shank."

After multiple blows and kicks to Mr Wilson, Earnshaw passed the sword to Gaukroger, who can be identified after the judge lifted reporting restrictions following a submission by the PA Media news agency.

Mr Makepeace said the pair paused at one point to catch their breath and to rifle through Mr Wilson's pockets, taking his coat.

The prosecutor said that, after they resume the attack, "Earnshaw and Gaukroger together holding the sword and crouching to the upper body then seem to make a concerted effort to saw the head from the shoulders".

"Both then jointly stab the upper body using their combined force."

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