Tomasz Oleszak: Leighton Amies sentenced to 12 years in prison for murdering the 14-year-old
Leighton Amies was found guilty of murdering Tomasz Oleszak in Gateshead last year.
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Leighton Amies, 15, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for stabbing teenager Tomasz Oleszak last year in Springwell.
The 14-year-old had been hanging out with friends in Whitehills nature park when another 14-year-old boy, unknown to the group, shouted “I’m going to wet you” before stabbing Tomasz in the chest. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, the teeanger died in hospital the following morning.
Tomasz had moved with his family to the North East from Poland in 2012 in the hope for a better life.
An investigation was launched and detectives subsequently charged Amies with murder and possession of a bladed article. He was also charged with assault in relation to another boy.
In April, Amies was found guilty of Tomasz’s murder as well as assault on a second victim at Newcastle Crown Court.
Today, the court heard the killer will spend 12 years behind bars.
Detective Inspector Chris Deavin, the senior investigating officer on the case, said: “It was undoubtedly a hard case, I have a teenage daughter myself and the impact this case has had on the community just cannot be measured.
“As an investigation team we spoke to many, many people in the community up in Wrekenton, a lot of young people and the impact it’s had upon them is immeasurable.”
Following the verdict, the judge lifted an order banning the identity of the offender and he was named as Leighton Amies, now 15, of Gateshead.
Knife crime is rising across the North East, tragically claiming the lives of more and more young people. This, says Deavin, is perhaps the reason Amies is able to be named, despite being only 15.
“It’s certainly an unusual step for a youth to be named, however, I think, personally, it’s a good thing and it means Leighton wasn’t able to hide behind anonymity and has to face the true consequences of his actions,” continues Deavin
“It’s a societal issue I can’t necessarily put my figure on as to why children are feeling the necessity to carry knives, whether it be glamourisation on television or other things, I couldn’t rightly say.
“As a force we’re doing many things: stop and searches, targeting young knife offenders, education within schools and working with partner agencies to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime.”