Teenager sentenced for stabbing man to death in bicycle row

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Darren Edginton, left, and moments before he was stabbed, in the blue circle, right, with the teenager circled in red. (SWNS)

A teenager obsessed with knives has been sentenced to four years and six months’ detention for stabbing a man to death in a row over a bicycle.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked Darren Edginton, 39, in a secluded lane after a dispute in June.

They had argued over the ownership of a “YoBike”, which are available to hire in Bristol.

Mr Edginton was killed by a single stab wound to the chest and the teenager was convicted of manslaughter at Bristol Crown Court in December.

Judge Peter Johnson also gave the boy a two-year extended licence.

The judge described how the teenager had a “keen interest, if not obsession with knives” when he rowed with Mr Edginton.

“You went round the corner with a place you knew there was no CCTV, planning to ambush Mr Edginton with the knife you were carrying,” he told the boy.

“When Mr Edginton came round the corner, you stabbed him in the chest.

“This was a wicked crime. The almost casual way in which you, a 14-year-old boy, carried out the stabbing in cold blood in broad daylight, in a public place, is chilling.”

Police were able to identify him through CCTV and he was arrested within ten hours of the stabbing.

Mr Edginton’s blood was found on his shoes, according to police.

Victim Darren Edginton, 39, was stabbed to death by a teenager in June 2019. (SWNS)

Investigators discovered footage of a hand holding a knife similar to the one used in the attack and linked the footage to the teenager’s bedroom.

He had looked at news stories of fatal stabbings and had more than 600 images of knives stored on his phone.

The boy had a difficult childhood, the court heard, and was forced to supply drugs from when he was 11. He had been part of a county lines operation and was a victim of modern slavery.

“You have been exposed to things that a child should not have to see or do,” the judge said to the teenager, who was sentenced on Friday.

“You have a deeply ingrained habit of carrying a knife. You were prepared to stab someone over a trivial matter.”

The teenager was acquitted of murder by a jury at Bristol Crow Court last year.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court acquitted the boy of murdering Mr Edginton during a trial last year.

During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Langdon QC said the defendant had an “established history” of carrying knives.

Simon Russell-Flint QC, representing the boy, said a statement submitted to the court showed the boy had lived a “life saturated by danger, risk and criminality”.

Detective Superintendent Julie Mackay, head of the major crime investigation team at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a tragedy for everyone involved.

“CCTV doesn’t capture the moment of the stabbing but we heard testimony from the victim’s friend who was at the scene.

“He heard Mr Edginton say he’d been stabbed, shortly before he staggered to nearby Ashley Road and collapsed.

“He died despite the best efforts of the members of the public and emergency services personnel who tried to save him.

“The defendant was identified as a suspect through CCTV and arrested less than 10 hours later.”

She added: “In interview, he first claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.

Video showing moments before Darren Edginton - in the blue circle - was stabbed by a teenager - in the red circle. (SWNS)

“But, due to the weight of evidence against him including data from his phone which placed him in the lane where the attack happened, he admitted he was the one who stabbed Mr Edginton.

“He claimed it was an accident/self-defence but the jury didn’t believe his version of events and convicted him of manslaughter."

“Our thoughts go out to Darren Edginton’s friends and family and I’d like to thank them and all the witnesses who gave evidence in court for their assistance in this investigation.”

Mr Edginton’s family him as a “kind caring man” and “a much loved father and son” in court.

Chief Inspector Paul Wigginton, area commander for East Bristol, said: “I’d encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers of carrying a knife and use this case as a real-life example of the grave implications of doing so.

“Yes, they are difficult conversations to initiate, but they are well worth having.

“The facts remain that you’re more likely to be stabbed yourself if you carry a knife and if you’re caught carrying a knife, or worse, if you use a knife to commit a violent act then you’re putting your future prospects in jeopardy.”