A teenager has been sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing of a man in June last year. Joseph Jeremy, who was aged 17 at the time, killed Ryan Connor in a brutal stabbing incident wherein he had intended to steal the victim’s Gucci bag.

According to Wales Online, Jeremy now faces life in prison after he was found guilty and convicted of murder after his trial that lasted for two months. Jeremy’s four friends who were with him during the robbery-murder were also found guilty of their involvement in the death of Connor.

The Newport Crown Court heard the five friends had traveled from Cardiff to Newport and spotted O’Connor sporting a Gucci manbag. They decided to gang up on the victim and rob him as they armed themselves with knives. The teenagers were pursued by police on their way back to Cardiff after witnesses had reported the incident to police.

The suspects sped off and had crashed their car when authorities hit a deployed stinger device. The victim had just come from his brother’s home when he was attacked while walking across Aberthaw Road in Newport. His brother, Daniel O’Connor, ran to him after being informed and found Ryan laying bare-chested in a pool of blood while another man was performing chest compressions in an attempt to keep him alive.

O’Connor died from his injuries as he had sustained five stab wounds, with one on his chest that had pierced his lung and heart. The court heard that Jeremy and his friends were all fascinated with knives. Months prior to O’Connor’s murder, Jeremy was also handed a sentence for stabbing a teenage rival.

Jeremy’s four friends, Lewis Aquilina, 20, Kyle Raisis, 18, Ethan Strickland, 18, and Elliot Fiteni, 20, were found guilty of manslaughter, and armed robbery with Aquilina and Jeremy both facing life sentences. Jeremy’s conviction was the result of a unanimous verdict by the jury.

Jeremy previously denied any part in the brutal attack despite claiming he did have a fascination for knives and had bought the knife in his possession. He said he needed knives for protection against his rival group. There have been calls to legally prosecute people who sell knives to children as laws state that minors are prohibited by law to buy knives let alone machetes.

"Why are they selling 15-inch machetes?'" said director of Media Academy Cymru Nick Corrigan. The Academy, which runs a weapons prevention program Brave Choices questioned why retailers are selling such items.

Justice Saini said a date for sentencing has not yet been determined although there is a possibility this may take place after Easter.

Gucci shoulder bag
A guest wears a large white grained leather shoulder bag from Gucci with logo and slogan inscriptions, a black long coat, outside the Lukhanyo Mdingi show, during Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2022-2023, on January 18, 2022 in Paris, France. Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images