A software engineer was allegedly stabbed to death by a 14-year-old boy after challenging teenagers messing about in a supermarket’s toilets, a court heard.
He died after suffering a chest wound outside Asda before reaching hospital on 8 March earlier this year.
Prosecutor Benjamin Aina KC told Birmingham Crown Court the 14-year-old who delivered the killer strike is claiming diminished responsibility.
Opening the Crown’s case, Mr Aina told the court: “Ian Kirwan left his home in Redditch with the intention of going to B&Q to buy a light switch.
“At about 7.15pm, Mr Kirwan went into Asda and entered the customer toilets. When he did so, he came into contact with a group of five young males who were messing about.
“A little later he left the toilets. He left the Asda store and some of the boys were outside and he challenged them. ‘Why were you messing about in the toilets’ – words to that effect.
“A scuffle broke out and, during that scuffle, Ian Kirwan was stabbed once to his heart with a knife and he died before getting to hospital. He was only 53-years-old.
“There is no dispute in this case that the person who stabbed Ian Kirwan was (the 14-year-old).
“However, the prosecution’s case is that at the time Ian Kirwan was stabbed with the knife, the five boys were acting together as a group – intentionally assisting and encouraging (the boy who stabbed Mr Kirwan) and that they intended that Mr Kirwan should be caused at least really serious harm with the knife that was used.
“Therefore, the prosecution say, in law all five boys are jointly responsible for Mr Kirwan’s death.”
The court heard the group allegedly behaved in an anti-social way, throwing rubbish and causing passengers to move during the journey.
One of the defendants allegedly removed a knife from a bag in the presence of others during the trip.
The prosecutor said of the youth who stabbed Mr Kirwan: “His case is that at the time of the killing he was suffering from mental disorders and as a result of these disorders his ability to form a rational judgement was substantially impaired and therefore he is not guilty of murder.
“The prosecution accept that he suffered from the mental health disorders that I have mentioned. What the prosecution say is that what was operating on (the youth’s) mind at the time of the killing was a behaviour disorder.
“And a behaviour disorder is not a mental health disorder.”
Another defendant, who is 15-years-old, is accused of giving a knife to the 14-year-old boy who stabbed Mr Kirwan, jurors heard.
Mr Aina said the 15-year-old pleaded guilty to possession of a knife, but maintained that he is not responsible for the death.
The defendants, given seats on the back row of the well in the court room rather than in the dock, cannot be identified because of their age.
All deny murder, an alternative charge of manslaughter and violent disorder.
The 14-year-old who stabbed Mr Kirwan denies unlawful possession of a knife on 8 March.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...