When two machete-wielding 12-year-old boys were found guilty yesterday of the brutal murder of teenager Shawn Seesahai, who was hacked to death in a park in Birmingham in November last year, they joined a long line of child killers. 

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are two of the youngest ever convicted murderers in the UK.

They are also Britain’s youngest ever knife killers, joining a harrowing roll call of child criminals which includes Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. 

However, the most shocking aspect of the case is undoubtedly the boys’ age, with it being rare for anybody so young to be tried for such a serious offence.

As the boys await sentencing, MailOnline takes a look at some of the country’s youngest, and most depraved, killers.

Murder of Shawn Seesahai 

This is the haunting photo of a 12-year-old killer posing with a huge machete tucked into his trousers on the day he hacked teenager Shawn Seesahai to death

This is the haunting photo of a 12-year-old killer posing with a huge machete tucked into his trousers on the day he hacked teenager Shawn Seesahai to death

Shawn Seesahai, 19, was hacked to death by two 12-year-old boys in a park in Wolverhampton in November 2023

Shawn Seesahai, 19, was hacked to death by two 12-year-old boys in a park in Wolverhampton in November 2023 

An image retrieved from the phone of one of the attackers showing long knives and swords on a bed

An image retrieved from the phone of one of the attackers showing long knives and swords on a bed

The month-long trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard the two boys acted together to kill Shawn after he ‘shoulder-brushed’ them near a bench.

He was punched, kicked, stamped on and ‘chopped’ at with 42.5cm-long machete that one of the defendants ‘often’ carried.

Although both boys blamed each other, the jury concluded that they were equally responsible for Shawn’s death, regardless of who struck the fatal blows. 

The trial raised questions about how a 12-year-old could get hold of such a knife – with the internet search history of one of the defendants showing he spent a lot of time searching for similar weapons. 

At the trial, the boys sat in the main well of the court instead of the dock. They also sat alongside specially trained staff to help them understand the proceedings and none of legal staff wore wigs or gowns. 

They were dressed instead in suits and the trial took place in one of the smaller courts in Nottingham to create a less intimidating atmosphere. 

Their conviction came as Shawn’s devastated father said parents need to ‘pay attention’ to what their children are doing as he warned ‘kids are dangerous now’.

He told Sky News: ‘You don’t know what these kids have. This world is a different world.

‘Kids are dangerous now and if we don’t pay attention to our kids it will happen every day.’

Mr Seesahai was originally from Caribbean island Anguilla but was staying in Birmingham while recovering from cataract surgery.

Chilling CCTV footage shows Shawn walking to a park minutes before he was murdered. He can be seen leaving Handsworth, an inner-city area of Birmingham, with two friends at around 5.30pm and getting onto a tram at Winson Green station.

The group then get off at Priestfield tram stop in Wolverhampton at 6.13pm and begin to make their way towards the park – where they would later bump into the attackers.

Mr Seesahai can be seen leaving Handsworth, an inner-city area of Birmingham, with two friends at around 5.30pm, getting onto a tram at Winson Green station

Mr Seesahai can be seen leaving Handsworth, an inner-city area of Birmingham, with two friends at around 5.30pm, getting onto a tram at Winson Green station

At 6.34pm, Mr Seesahai and one friend then leave the park to go to a local petrol station

At 6.34pm, Mr Seesahai and one friend then leave the park to go to a local petrol station

Shop CCTV shows the pair looking at shelves of food before returning to the park

Shop CCTV shows the pair looking at shelves of food before returning to the park

Grainy footage later shows them standing in the area until at least 8.15pm. The attack itself is not caught on CCTV

Grainy footage later shows them standing in the area until at least 8.15pm. The attack itself is not caught on CCTV

At 6.34pm, Mr Seesahai and one friend then leave the park to go to a local petrol station where shop CCTV shows them looking at shelves of food.

The pair are then spotted heading back to the park for 7.57pm when grainy footage shows them standing in the area until at least 8.15pm. The attack itself is not caught on CCTV.

Shawn’s friend told the trial he was forced to run for his life, but 19-year-old Mr Seesahai stumbled as he tried to flee from the boys on Wolverhampton’s Stowlawn playing fields on November 13 last year.

The witness said: ‘It was a big blade, something similar to a machete. He pulled it out of the sheath from his waist. Shawn told me to run.’

The court heard that they attacked the victim with such force that in one blow the machete almost passed through his body.

Murder of Ronan Kanda 

Ronan, 16, was brutally attacked with a machete by two 17-year-old boys in a case of mistaken identity

Ronan, 16, was brutally attacked with a machete by two 17-year-old boys in a case of mistaken identity

The two teenagers attacked Ronan from behind after he was seen leaving another boy's house, where the target of the assault lived

The two teenagers attacked Ronan from behind after he was seen leaving another boy’s house, where the target of the assault lived

Sukhman Shergill, 17, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 16 years over the killing

Sukhman Shergill, 17, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 16 years over the killing

Prabjeet Veadhesa, 17, was also jailed for life by a judge and must serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars

Prabjeet Veadhesa, 17, was also jailed for life by a judge and must serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars

The murder case involving the two 12-year-olds came after the murder of Ronan Kanda, which happened just two-and-a-half miles away and only 18 months earlier. 

Ronan, 16, was brutally attacked with a machete by two 17-year-old boys in a case of mistaken identity. 

Prabjeet Veadhesa and Sukhman Shergill, both 17, were involved in the attack on Ronan from behind as he walked to a friend’s house to buy a PlayStation controller in Wolverhampton last year.

Ronan, who was not the intended victim of the attack but knew Veadhesa, of Walsall, and Shergill, of Willenhall, was yards away from the home he shared with his parents and sister when he was set upon on Mount Road on the evening of June 29 2022. 

In what judge Mr Justice Choudhury called a ‘tragic coincidence’, Veadhesa and Shergill had seen Ronan leaving the house where their intended victim lived and assumed he was the boy they were looking for.

The court heard Ronan was followed and stabbed twice with a ‘vicious’ Ninja knife that Veadhesa had bought online, leaving him with a 20cm deep wound in his back and hip area and a 17cm deep wound in his chest.

He was left to die in the street from the injuries inflicted by Veadhesa, who, along with Shergill, fled the scene after realising they had stabbed the wrong person and disposed of the weapons and the clothing they had been wearing.

Murder of Jamie Bulger 

Jon Venables

Robert Thompson

The savage murder of James Bulger in 1993 by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson was a crime that horrified the nation and left the two-year-old’s family utterly broken

In February 1993, the toddler was snatched from his mother at New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, after she took her eyes off him for a matter of seconds

In February 1993, the toddler was snatched from his mother at New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, after she took her eyes off him for a matter of seconds 

Perhaps the most high-profile murder case involving youngsters was that of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who were found guilty of killing two-year-old James Bulger more than 30 years ago. 

In the case that shocked the nation, Thompson and Venables, both aged ten at the time, abducted, tortured and murdered two-year-old James Bulger in 1993. 

The toddler was snatched from his mother at New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, after she took her eyes off him for a matter of seconds.

Thompson and Venables, then aged just ten, subjected James to a series of horrifying assaults before dropping a 22lb railway fishplate on his head. 

They then dumped his body on a train line, where it was found two days later.

Venables, who is now in his 40s, was initially freed in 2001 but has since been returned behind bars twice for possessing indecent images of children.

Thompson, who was also released in 2001, was at the time considered to be the ringleader in James’s murder. He has not reoffended.

Although the pair had their anonymity orders lifted, shortly after they turned 18, the High Court made an injunction preventing the media from publishing their new identities. 

This effectively gave them life-long anonymity. 

Killings of Martin and Brian Howe 

Britain's youngest female killer, on the other hand, is Mary Bell, who at the age of 11 became notorious after being convicted of strangling two small boys

Britain’s youngest female killer, on the other hand, is Mary Bell, who at the age of 11 became notorious after being convicted of strangling two small boys

A police van carries Jon Venables and Robert Thompson to Preston Crown Court on the first day of their trial

A police van carries Jon Venables and Robert Thompson to Preston Crown Court on the first day of their trial

Britain’s youngest female killer, on the other hand, is Mary Bell, who at the age of 11 became notorious after being convicted of strangling two small boys. 

Bell was found guilty of manslaughter in December 1968 for suffocating Martin and Brian Howe, three, in Newcastle.

Martin was found dead in a derelict house, while Brian’s body was discovered on waste ground two months later with the letter M carved into his stomach with scissors.

Bell’s fellow accused, Norma Bell, 13, a neighbour, who was not related to her, was acquitted.

During the trial Norma gave evidence describing how Mary had ignored her pleas to stop hurting Brian Howe as she strangled him.

The jury ruled Bell was suffering from diminished responsibility and therefore not guilty of murder.

She was sentenced to life but was released at the age of 23 and given a fresh identity to protect her daughter when she was born four years later, on May 25, 1984. 

Murder of Brianna Ghey 

Scarlett Jenkinson (left) and Eddie Ratcliffe (right) were found guilty of the murder of Brianna Ghey

Scarlett Jenkinson (left) and Eddie Ratcliffe (right) were found guilty of the murder of Brianna Ghey 

Brianna Grey was stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife on February 11 last year

Brianna Grey was stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife on February 11 last year

Scarlett Jenkinson, previously known only as Girl X, was convicted of Brianna's murder and admitted to being obsessed with serial killers and torture videos

Scarlett Jenkinson, previously known only as Girl X, was convicted of Brianna’s murder and admitted to being obsessed with serial killers and torture videos

Earlier this year, the two teenagers who savagely murdered teenager Brianna Ghey were unmasked as serial-killer obsessives Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe. 

The pair were just 15 years old when they lured Brianna to Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, where she was stabbed 28 times in her head, neck and back with a hunting knife bought by Ratcliffe.  

Detectives feared the ‘warped’ duo with a ‘taste for killing’ may have moved onto another victim had they not been arrested barely 24 hours after they knifed Brianna to death. 

The body of ‘timid’ Brianna was found lying face-down in the mud with 28 stab wounds after the ‘frenzied’ attack at a popular beauty spot in a Cheshire village on February 11 last year.

Her twisted killers, described as a ‘danger to society’ by their victim’s mother, had planned the attack in great detail, with a handwritten note in Jenkinson’s room reading: ‘Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey’.

They then desperately sought to cover their tracks, with Jenkinson posting a Snapchat tribute that called Brianna ‘such an amazing friend’ and ‘one of the best people I’ve ever met’.

Brianna's mother Esther arrives at Manchester Crown Court ahead of the sentencing hearing earlier this year

Brianna’s mother Esther arrives at Manchester Crown Court ahead of the sentencing hearing earlier this year 

Brianna's father Peter Spooner arriving at Manchester Crown Court on February 2

Brianna’s father Peter Spooner arriving at Manchester Crown Court on February 2

Forensic officers carrying equipment through Culcheth Linear Park on February 13 last year - two days after Brianna was killed

Forensic officers carrying equipment through Culcheth Linear Park on February 13 last year – two days after Brianna was killed

The pair were still only 16 when they stood trial at Manchester Crown Court last November, meaning neither their names nor the schools they had attended could be published. 

They blamed one another for the brutal killing, but shortly before Christmas jurors took less than five hours to unanimously convict them both.

The following day, trial judge Mrs Justice Yip ruled that their identities should be revealed to help the public ‘understand how children could do something so dreadful’. 

Due to their age, both teenage killers were afforded special considerations at the trial and Ratcliffe was allowed to complete Sudoku puzzles on his knee. 

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