Keon Lincoln death: Fifth teenager accused of killing 15-year-old schoolboy cleared of murder

Keon Lincoln (left) and Michael Ugochukwu caught on CCTV holding a knife (right) Credit: West Midlands Police

A fifth teenager accused of killing 15-year-old Keon Lincoln has been cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court.

Kieron Donaldson was convicted of the lesser charge by a majority 10-2 verdict after a trial heard he “helped and supplied weapons” for the pre-planned attack on Keon in January this year.

Jurors had been instructed to consider whether Donaldson, aged 18, had assisted or encouraged one of 15-year-old Keon’s attackers to carry out the attack.

They deliberated for 17 hours and four minutes before reaching a verdict on Donaldson.

The 18-year-old, of Aston Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on November 29 alongside four other teenagers who were convicted of Keon’s murder on Thursday.

Kieron Donaldson has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Keon Lincoln. Credit: West Midlands Police

Adjourning sentence on Kieron Donaldson, Lord Justice William Davis said: “You have been convicted of the offence of manslaughter not murder, so the sentence in your case is not pre-determined by law.

“But you will understand that a significant sentence is bound to follow.”

The final verdict comes as a 14-year-old gunman and three other teenagers aged between 16 and 18 have been found guilty of murdering Keon.

A five-week trial heard how Keon was pronounced dead at Birmingham Children’s Hospital around two hours after being subjected to a "short but brutal" gang attack outside his home in Handsworth on January 21.

The court was told Donaldson bought around a dozen knives online in the months before the murder, including one bearing Keon’s blood which was found in a stolen Ford S-Max.

It was also alleged that Donaldson’s fingerprints were found on the blade of the weapon, while Ugochukwu’s DNA was recovered from its sheath.

The trial was told Donaldson arranged for a taxi which picked up Breakenridge and Ugochukwu before the attack and dropped them off near his home.

Tahjgeem Breakenridge (left) and Michael Ugochukwu (right) were found guilty of murder on Thursday Credit: West Midlands Police

Keon died after he was stabbed multiple times and shot by a group of youths on Linwood Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, on January 21, 2021.

He was repeatedly stabbed by a group who got out of a stolen car and chased him, before being shot in the stomach as he lay on the ground, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Addressing jurors at the start of the trial, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said of the knives and gun used in the attack: “You will want to consider where those weapons came from.

“Of course, weapons can come from many sources. But, as you know, there are restrictions on selling weapons.

Knife found by police Credit: West Midlands Police

He added: “For instance, people who sell knives should not sell any knife to anyone under 18."

He continued: “The first four defendants were under 18 (at the time of the killing) but Kieron Donaldson was 18.

“So, he could buy knives without restriction and, if he chose to, supply them to his friends and others under 18.

“In short, in a period of less than three months, from October 15 2020 to January 5 2021, Donaldson bought 10 hunting knives, two survival knives and two machetes.”

Michael Ugochukwu seen wielding a knife Credit: West Midlands Police

The court was told all the purchases were made online using Donaldson’s email address, but none of the knives were found when the police searched his home a month after the murder.

The 14-year-old gunman was also convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, while the 16-year-old and Breakenridge and Ugochukwu were further convicted of having an offensive weapon.

Detectives have said there is no evidence to suggest territorial gang rivalries were linked to the killing, and they could not say whether Keon was specifically targeted or if he was attacked “by chance”.

Paul Farrow, a specialist prosecutor at the CPS, said: “Our thoughts are with Keon’s family and friends during this difficult time.

“While these convictions will never be able to replace what they have lost, I hope it gives them some comfort that those responsible have been held accountable for their actions.”