Teenager jailed for murdering Harley Brown in Huddersfield named as Zak Robinson

Zak Robinson/Harley Brown
Zak Robinson and his accomplice attacked Harley Brown in the street. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A teenager who hacked another boy to death with a machete can be named after a judge lifted an order preventing his identification.

Zak Robinson was one of two boys who were jailed on Monday for murdering 17-year-old Harley Brown in Huddersfield.

They chased him before inflicting injuries to his head, body and legs in a "sustained and brutal" attack in February. Both were given life sentences.

An order was in place preventing the defendants from being identified because of their age.

The judge lifted the order relating to Robinson on Thursday. The 15-year-old is still protected.

The court heard Harley had moved to Huddersfield from Deptford in southeast London in 2020 for a "safe" new life after his mother became concerned he was being groomed.

He had met up with a friend in Huddersfield town centre before meeting the two defendants - who he knew - outside a shop on Wakefield Road on 20 February.

CCTV footage showed Brown running away from the defendants as Robinson pulled a large knife from his trousers.

The court heard the pair chased Brown onto a nearby street, where he could be seen going to the floor having been struck by the 15-year-old, who could then be seen assaulting him with another knife.

The pair inflicted a number of blows to Harley's head, body and legs.

Harley Brown was attacked on Maple Street in Hudeersfield in February

Robinson t discarded a 25cm-long machete as he fled the scene.

Harley was taken to hospital for emergency surgery but died later that day.

A post-mortem found he had suffered 24 injuries and his throat had been cut. A stab wound to the front of his neck was determined as the cause of death.

Both defendants claimed they had been under the influence of nitrous oxide during the attack, with the 15-year old claiming he had no grudge against Brown but "decided to challenge him on behalf of others who believed he owed them money".

Robinson was jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years and six months. The 15-year-old was sentenced to life in custody with a minimum term of 10 years and three months.     

Harley's mother, Janet Brown, left the court after becoming upset at the younger defendant's sentence.

In a statement issued after the sentencing she said: "I brought Harley to Huddersfield to be safe.  He won’t celebrate any more Christmas’s or birthdays. He won’t ever get married, have kids, get a job, drive a car, or have the chance to do the right thing and support his own family one day."

She added that Harley's killers had "destroyed a whole family."

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, said: "There is no good reason for carrying a knife in public. It is a lie that carrying a knife makes young men safe. It isn’t big, it isn’t tough, it is a path to despair and destruction.

She added: 'It did not keep Harley safe, it led to his death. It did not keep either of these defendants safe, they are going to lose a significant portion of their lives in custody."

Det Supt Alan Weekes, who led police enquiries, said: “The murder of Harley sadly stands as a terrible example of the dreadful consequences of knife crime.    

“His attackers pursued him from the shop and ran him down to Maple Street where he was subjected to a savage attack, sustaining what proved to be fatal injuries.    

“These males were prepared to use appalling violence, almost on a whim, and anyone prepared to act in such a way clearly has no place on the streets."    

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