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A High Court judge has ruled a young killer should be named as part of “the necessary public debate on knife crime”.
Mr Justice Jeremy Baker permitted the identification of 15-year-old Marcel Grzeszcz after jailing him for the murder of 12-year-old Roberts Buncis on Monday.
Grzeszcz lured his victim to an area of woodland in Fishtoft, near Boston, Lincolnshire, on 12 December last year before attempting to decapitate him.
The teenager’s trial at Lincoln Crown Court was told he stabbed Roberts “in excess of 70 times”.
Grzeszcz had admitted manslaughter midway through his trial but denied murder.
Why did the judge identify Marcel Grzeszcz?
In his ruling at Lincoln Crown Court, judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said identifying Grzeszcz would assist the “investigation” of knife crime and its “causes and prevention”.
He lifted the anonymity order which banned the defendant from being identified after the PA news agency argued that naming him would act as a powerful deterrent.
Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: “I have no doubt that the circumstances of the offence are not only of proper interest to the public at large and within the local area, but also as forming part of the necessary public debate on knife crime in general, including the investigation of its causes and prevention.”
Following the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Myszczyszyn of Lincolnshire Police said the case acted as a “stark and chilling lesson on the potential devastation of knife crime”.
What did the victim’s family say?
In a short victim impact statement read to the court on behalf of Roberts’s father, Edgars Buncis, he said: “How do I put into words how I feel?
“This is all wrong. No father should ever have to bury their son.
“Nothing is a reason for this. I have lost my destination and my purpose.
“My life is in a cemetery. I feel empty and nothing will change this.”
Why aren’t child killers automatically identified?
In England and Wales, children under 18 appearing at youth or crown courts cannot be named whether they’re victims, witnesses, or defendants.
But a judge can lift restrictions in exceptional circumstances, including a social need where the child’s interest is outweighed by public interest.
A right to privacy and family life is enshrined by The European Convention on Human Rights, which means once a sentence has been served they are entitled to move on.
Restrictions have been lifted on several occasions, most notably on the reporting of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who killed toddler James Bulger in 1993 when they were ten years old.
The judge in the trial said: "The public interest overrode the interest of the defendants."
A High Court judge in 2014 also lifted reporting restrictions on Will Cornick, 16, who murdered his teacher Ann Maguire because naming him would result in "a clear deterrent effect".
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