Teenager facing life sentence after stabbing student Alan Szelugowski in Salford park

Alan Szelugowski was killed in a stabbing in January. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A teenager who faces a life sentence for stabbing a college student to death said he "had no other choice" because he was "acting in self defence".

Alan Szelugowski suffered injuries to his head and body and was discovered the following morning by dog walker on 30 January 2022.The 17-year-old was murdered after "falling out" with one of his killers, known as Boy A, over a cannabis debt.

They had arranged to meet at Clowes Park in Salford to "sort things out", Minshull Street Crown Court heard.Prosecutors claimed that Boy A had recruited two others, Boy B and Boy C, before Alan was 'lured' to the park.

Alan Szelugowski was killed in Clowes Park in Salford. Credit: MEN Media

Boy A, who described Alan as a 'close friend', admitted that he stabbed him 'two or three times' but claimed it was in self defence after Alan had pulled a knife on him.

He was found guilty of murder.Boy B and Boy C told the jury that they had no involvement in the killing but were both found guilty of manslaughter following a two-month trial.

All three face a sentence of detention under His Majesty's pleasure, the youth equivalent of a life term.The trial heard that a row had developed between Alan and Boy A. Boy A said he was owed money after selling Alan cannabis.In a text message Alan referred to Boy A as 'a snake'.

Boy A said Alan had called him that because he had allowed another man to use his phone to contact Alan.Alan also texted Boy A saying "don't be trying no fun" when they agreed to meet on the evening of 29 January.

Boy B and Boy C accompanied Boy A, who drove to the park in a stolen Audi A4.Boy A said he went into the park, which was almost pitch black, to speak with Alan."I tried to ask him when he would be able to pay the money, and why was he calling me a snake," he said during the trial.

The teenagers will be sentenced at Minshull Street Crown in Manchester in December. Credit: PA images

Boy A claimed Alan 'reached for his waistband', as if to reach for a weapon.

"I could see a handle," he said before punching Alan.

Boy A claimed he was 'terrified' and 'frightened' and that Boy B and Boy C came from the car and started punching Alan.He said a 'stand off' developed after claiming that Alan dropped a knife.

"At that moment he was reaching inside his jacket," Boy A said. "I assumed he was going to pull out another weapon."Boy A said he swung the knife at Alan after he 'started punching and grabbing' at him.

Asked if he felt he had to defend himself, the defendant said: "I thought I had no other choice."

Boy B denied having anything to do with Alan's death. He said he saw Boy A stab Alan several times with force.The three teenagers fled, leaving Alan to bleed to death. His body was found the next morning by a dog walker in the park.A post mortem examination revealed he had suffered at least 20 stab and slash wounds to his head and body and others to his arms and legs.

Alan Szelugowski was stabbed more than 20 times by Boy A. Credit: MEN Media

Addressing Boy A, Judge John Potter said: "You will be well aware, the only sentence I can impose upon you following a conviction of murder is a sentence of detention for life."Within that exercise I have to set a minimum period before which you can be considered for release on parole.

"I’ll come to a view about that minimum period once I have read the pre-sentence report and heard the mitigation."The case was adjourned for sentence on 22 December and the trio have been remanded into custody.