Five youths in court after man, 53, fatally stabbed near Redditch Asda supermarket

Ian Kirwan Credit: PA Media

Five youths have appeared in court charged with murdering a man who was fatally stabbed near an Asda supermarket in Worcestershire.

Ian Kirwan, who worked as a software engineer contractor for Jaguar Land Rover, died after an incident outside the Asda store in Jinnah Road, Redditch, on Tuesday March 8.

The youths, all males aged between 13 and 15 who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.

One appeared via video-link while the other four appeared in person.

Three of the youths have denied murdering Mr Kirwan, while two have yet to enter pleas.

"Stay in contact with your lawyers", judge says

The Recorder of Worcester, Judge James Burbidge QC, set a provisional date for a six-week trial, starting on November 7.

Addressing the youths, whose families accompanied those who were in court, he said: "Stay in contact with your lawyers.

"You will have to set out in writing what your defence is to the offences."

Ian Kirwan, 53, died after being stabbed outside this Asda in Redditch Credit: Snapper SK

In a statement issued a week after Mr Kirwan’s death, relatives paid tribute to him as "the warmest, kindest man" who loved his family and friends dearly.

His family said he was an extremely compassionate man who cared deeply about the planet and justice for others and they are "completely devastated" by his death.

"Anyone who knew him would have known him to be both intelligent and humble and there for anybody in need", they add.

The tribute continued: "Ian had the warmest, silliest, daftest sense of humour that you couldn’t help loving and laughing at. He brought great comfort to those around him and gave the best bear hugs that made you feel safe, protected and loved."

"With a fun and happy home life he was an absolute home bird who enjoyed nothing more than time with his wife, family and close friends."

'His silliness made him such a fun uncle' - family's tribute to Ian Kirwan

Mr Kirwan is described as a "loving uncle" not just to his own three nephews but also to his friends' children too.

"His silliness, sense of adventure and love of science and nature made him such a fun uncle to spend time with" they say.

Mr Kirwan worked as a software engineer contractor for Jaguar Land Rover, a job his family say he loved and was incredibly passionate about.

More than a dozen members of Mr Kirwan’s family sat in the public gallery for the 50-minute hearing on Monday.