A man was allegedly murdered outside an Asda supermarket by five boys after he challenged them for “messing about in the toilets”, a court heard.
Ian Kirwan, 53, died after being stabbed in the heart during a “scuffle” at the store in Jinnah Road, Redditch, on March 8 this year, jurors heard.
Five youths, aged 13 to 16, who cannot be named due to their age, went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court today, today. They all deny charges of murder, manslaughter and violent disorder.
The jury was told one of the defendants, aged 14, accepts inflicting the fatal blow to Mr Kirwan, a software engineer who worked for Jaguar Land Rover, and claims the defence of diminished responsibility.
He has also pleaded not guilty to a further offence of possession of a bladed article in public.
Opening the case, prosecutor Benjamin Aina KC said: “We are dealing with the evening of Tuesday, 8th March this year. Ian Kirwan left his home in Redditch with the intention of going to B&Q to buy a light switch. B&Q in Redditch is next to Asda.
“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 and during that scuffle Ian Kirwan was stabbed once to his heart with a knife and he died before getting to the hospital. He was just 53-years-old at the time of his death.”
The prosecutor told the court there is “no dispute” that the principal defendant, aged 14, was the person who stabbed Mr Kirwan, reporte Birmingham Live..
He added: “However it is the prosecution case that at the time Ian Kirwan was stabbed with the knife all five young boys were acting together as a group in assisting or encouraging (the 14-year-old), and that they all intended that Mr Kirwan should be caused at least really serious harm with the knife that was used. Therefore the prosecution say in law all five boys were jointly responsible for Mr Kirwan’s death.”
Mr Aina said on the night in question the five defendants were part of a larger group who had travelled from Birmingham to Redditch on the train.
He added: “As you will see on the CCTV footage that group of 11 boys all had their faces covered with face coverings. They were dressed to cover their identities.”
The court was told that the group’s behaviour as they caught a train in Birmingham was “anti-social”.
Mr Aina said: “On the train you will hear evidence from members of the public who describe their behaviour on the train was anti-social; climbing chairs, throwing rubbish and causing members of the public to move away.
“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 (ADHD). “If he felt under threat his arms would go out,” said Mr Aina.
Turning to the defendants, he stated that the 14-year-old who stabbed Mr Kirwan also suffered mental health disorders.
But the prosecutor added that it was a “behavioural disorder” in his mind at the time of the killing as opposed to a mental one.