Fred Shand: Schoolboy who stabbed Northampton teenager in seven-second attack sentenced

Sarah Cooper was in court and sent this report for ITV News Anglia

A schoolboy has been sentenced for stabbing a teenager to death on his way home from school in an attack that police said took just seven seconds.

Rohan Shand, who was known as Fred, was stabbed to death outside the Cock Hotel on Harborough Road in the Kingsthorpe area of Northampton, on 22 March.

A 15-year-old boy, who was 14 at the time of the attack, was found guilty of murder.

At Northampton Crown Court on Thursday the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 13 years, minus the 248 days he has already served on remand.

The judge, who said the boy would serve the sentence in a young offenders institute, described the stabbing as “a brazen and shocking attack leading to the senseless death of a young man”.

Following the boy's conviction in August, Fred's father Rohan Shand Sr said that "justice has prevailed".

A second boy, now aged 17, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter but admitted possession of a knife and was also sentenced to an 18-month community rehabilitation order on Thursday.

Prosecutors said the attack escalated from a feud that began two days earlier, between friendship groups from different schools.

During the trial, jurors heard how the attack on Fred was plotted on Snapchat and an electric scooter was used to find him.

  • CCTV footage showed the two boys looking for Fred before one of them stabbed him

Fred had been walking from school when the boy found him, having already gone to his school looking for him.

After finding him, he pushed him backwards into a tree and then stabbed him once in the chest, causing catastrophic blood loss, before fleeing.

Police said the entire incident was over in just seven seconds.

Members of the public followed the defendant to a house where he tried to hide, allowing police to track him down.

Armed officers turned up and found the 15-year-old hiding in an attic room after being told “the guy who did it is still in the house”.

Two knives, one with Fred’s blood still on it, were found at the property, along with discarded clothing and mobile phones.

Flowers were left at the scene over the days that followed the stabbing. Credit: PA

A victim impact statement from Mr Shand was read to court ahead of the judge's sentencing.

He said: “Words cannot describe how I feel and the impact of losing Fred has had on not just me but my family, Fred’s friends, and the whole town. Losing Fred has left me with sleepless nights, anxiety, and insufferable pain.

“When Fred was taken so was my heart. My life will never be the same. When I wake up in the morning, I forget for a moment and shout Fred for school, make two cups of tea and then it all comes crashing down.

“All I have left is memories and photos of his upbringing and fun times. Fred was my best friend, my son and I relied on him to help me with technology, he would help order things online and he would also help around the house. We were a team and faced everything together.

“I will never get over losing my Fred, we had such a close bond. We had so many plans for the future. He didn’t even get to sit his GCSEs, get married, have children, and explore the world. Before Fred’s passing, he was planning to get an apprenticeship in bricklaying.

“I know Fred would have gone on to do amazing things but now all those dreams have been shattered.”

Police and forensics investigators examining the scene in the aftermath of the stabbing. Credit: PA

Det Insp Simon Barnes said: "Fred was simply walking home from school when he was senselessly attacked and killed. There is no possible justification for his death.

"The teenager found guilty of murdering him may not have set out to kill Fred but he and the 17-year-old chose to take knives, when they left home to confront him, something which massively increased the chances of someone being stabbed."

He added: "Throughout the trial we heard about the heroic actions of the members of the public who helped Fred after he was stabbed and I want to pay tribute to them.

"To those people who stopped to help him and provide medical care and those who followed the 15-year-old away from the scene, allowing us to make a quick arrest, thank you."

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