The Indian-origin teenager who stabbed two people during a brawl between friends outside a bar in central England has been found guilty of double murder and could face a life sentence at a hearing next month.
Amrit Jhagra, 19, denied murder and said he acted in self-defense but was convicted by a jury at the end of a trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday.
The victims were named as Janice Kozlowskis, 17, and Ryan Theobald, 20, who were involved in a brawl outside a bar in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in January.
Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) of South Yorkshire Police, Lee Townley, said: “I would like to express my condolences to the families and friends of both Ryan and Janice as these proceedings undoubtedly must have been both difficult and distressing for them.”
“Throughout this trial, the respondent has claimed that he acted in self-defence of his friend, however, that evening Jhagra went out with a knife and used it to stab not only one but two persons. This case exposes the heartbreaking implications of the knife crime, and I am glad that the jury saw Jhagra’s lies and he will be behind bars for a long time.”
According to police, the two victims left the bar they were in with friends and once outside, a fight broke out between Kozlowski and a friend of Zhagra’s. A few minutes later, Theobald ends up in the middle of the brawl and later CCTV footage shows Jhagra approached him, who stabbed him and left him lying in the street.
“As Janice ran down the street, she was followed by Jhagra, who dragged her to the ground and stabbed her several times before fleeing the scene,” said DCI Townley.
Emergency services were called by members of the public, but despite the efforts of officers and paramedics, Theobald was pronounced dead at the scene and Kozlowski died a short time later in the hospital.
A postmortem examination revealed that the former had died from a single wound, and the latter from multiple stab wounds.
A murder investigation was launched soon thereafter and police interrogation found that Jhagra fled to a nearby hotel after the incident, and then took a taxi to his friend’s house and fled.
A few days after the incident, he handed himself over to the police and was arrested on suspicion of both murders. He was further arrested for possessing an offensive weapon and was charged with all three offenses on February 3.
He was tried at Sheffield Crown Court last week and after four hours of deliberation, a jury found him guilty of all three charges. He will appear again at Sheffield Crown Court on 18 August for sentencing.
“While this provides some form of closure and we know the defendant will spend many years in prison, we will never recover from the loss of Janice,” Janice Kozlowski’s sister said in a statement released through police.
“Ryan previously told me he was afraid of knives. He knew other people locally who were victims of knife crimes. I beg those who carry knives or blades, for whatever reason, Please don’t. You’re someone’s son, brother, a darling, friend. I don’t want what we’re doing to any other family,” Ryan Theobald’s mother said in her statement.
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