Jack Woodley: Seven teenagers who killed 18-year-old named by judges

Top row: Sonny Smith, Leighton Mayo, Calum Maddison, Blaine Sewell 
Bottom row: Grant Wheatley,  Owen Clayton, Joe Lathan.
Top row: Sonny Smith, Leighton Mayo, Calum Maddison, Blaine Sewell ( L-R ) Bottom row: Grant Wheatley, Owen Clayton, Joe Lathan. ( L-R ) Credit: Northumbria Police

Seven teenagers who were involved in killing 18-year-old Jack Woodley can now be named after an order protecting their identify was lifted.

Jack Woodley was fatally stabbed after being “surrounded and isolated” by a gang of youths who chased him down an alleyway in Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland.

He was punched, kicked, stamped on, and stabbed with a 25cm “Rambo-style” knife during the attack in October 2021.

At Newcastle Crown Court last year, the then-unnamed teenagers were handed minimum terms of between eight and 17 years’ detention after being convicted.

Jack Woodley was 18 when he was stabbed and killed while leaving Houghton Feast. Credit: Family

They each brought challenges against their convictions to the Court of Appeal in London in July, but each of their bids were dismissed on Friday.

Appeal judges also ruled that most of the teenagers should be identified, naming them as Clayton Owen, Sonny Smith, Joe Lathan, Leighton Mayo, Blaine Sewell, Grant Wheatley and Calum Maddison.

The three youngest of the group, who are all 16, will remain anonymous.

Clayton Owen, Sonny Smith and Grant Wheatley were named for the first time when they went to the Court of Appeal in July, as they are all over the age of 18.

Owen Clayton, Grant Wheatley and Sonny Smith were all named as Jack Woodley's killers after turning 18. ( L- R ) Credit: Northumbria Police

In a ruling on Friday, the four others were named despite still being youths.

The ruling said the "strong public interest in public justice" outweighed the arguments in favour of the youths remaining anonymous for the "short period" before they become 18.

During the sentencing hearings in August 2022, Judge Rodney Jameson KC said the group had attacked Mr Woodley “solely for the excitement and pleasure of inflicting serious injury on an entirely innocent and randomly selected stranger”.

The judge told the defendants the violence inflicted on Mr Woodley “though short-lived, was appalling” and all of them “played a part in causing Jack’s death”.

Jurors heard that Mr Woodley was leaving the Houghton Feast funfair when the youths, who he did not know, “surrounded and isolated” him.

One of the teenagers first put Mr Woodley in a headlock and punched him, before the others “joined in”, the court heard. One of them was heard shouting “get the chopper” – referring to the knife – in mobile-phone footage of the incident.

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