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Samurai sword killers who murdered family man got £17,000 legal aid for QCs to try reduce jail term

Samurai sword killers who murdered family man got £17,000 legal aid for QCs to try reduce jail term

Pratibha walia
Samurai sword killers who murdered family man got £17,000 legal aid for QCs to try reduce jail term

Depraved murderers of a father-of-two who tried to cut his head off with a samurai sword received over £17,000 of legal aid for expensive lawyers to fight for them in court.

Drug-addled Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, were jailed for life for hacking devoted family man Robert Wilson to death outside his work, inflicting 100 vicious wounds.

But despite the brutality of the horrific attack – which his widow Elaine said showed they did ‘not deserve a place in society’ – they were allowed huge sums to fund their legal battle.

A MailOnline investigation can reveal the pair ran up a bill – paid by taxpayers  – of some £17,349.78, despite the fact they pleaded guilty. 

Gaukroger’s money paid for Paul Greaney QC to argue the 16-year-old killer should stay anonymous – which was refused by the judge – and defend appalling rap lyrics he wrote in court boasting of the murder.

Meanwhile the sum allocated for Earnshaw saw his representative Bryan Cox QC say he was immature and needed mental health support.

Luke Gaukroger, 16

Kiyran Earnshaw, 18, and Luke Gaukroger, 16, were jailed for life over the brutal murder

They were jailed for life and least 16 years, eight months, and 22 years respectively over the killing that presiding Judge Mr Justice Lavender branded ‘truly gruesome’.

Mrs Wilson said after the sentencing it was ‘incomprehensible’ youths would carry out such a crime.

She added: ‘To do what they did is incomprehensible to any ‘normal’ human being and they do not deserve a place in society.’ 

The bill started racking up for the taxpayer shortly after the pair were arrested over Mr Wilson’s savage murder outside Thornton and Ross pharmaceutical plant in Huddersfield, West Yorks, in January this year.

Records show at the police station, Earnshaw’s solicitor cost £363.32, while Gaukroger’s was £208.54.

By the time they reached Leeds Crown Court the elder boy had a further £9,100.32 spent on lawyers.  The younger of the killers had another £7,677.60.

West Yorkshire Police released a picture showing the shocking length of the Samurai sword

West Yorkshire Police released a picture showing the shocking length of the Samurai sword

Robert Wilson, 53, was brutally attacked after investigating youths outside his work

Robert Wilson, 53, was brutally attacked after investigating youths outside his work

Speaking after the teenagers' were sentenced, Robert's widow Elaine Wilson said: 'What they did is incomprehensible to any "normal" human being and they do not deserve a place in society'

Speaking after the teenagers’ were sentenced, Robert’s widow Elaine Wilson said: ‘What they did is incomprehensible to any “normal” human being and they do not deserve a place in society’

Killer’s pathetic rap boast 

Gaukroger wrote pathetic rap boasts of his crime after being charged with murdering Mr Wilson: 

Now I’m sitting in jail forgetting ’bout all you

Necks on the road all of you think you’re bad but you ain’t bad on your own

Step up into my zone, I’ll Show you that I’m on smoke.

 I’ll be dishing out multiple pokes, you won’t like me when I’m mad likeHulk bro

I’ll show you my maximum smoke blade went in and out, made him choke

Pupils dilate like he’s on coke, the last sound he made is a croak

I heard him struggling for his last breath when he gave up, said wag warn to death

I was still stabbing up the guy’s chest, laughing cos my knife work the best

Sammy made the Don hit the deck, no cap man.

Was chopping at his neck, us man almost detatched his head

Can only imagine how much he bleed over 100 wounds up his body, that’s what fed told me n My Donny

OML I’m spitting the truth I don’t tell no lies in the booth

They pleaded guilty to killing him back on June 26, but the case was adjourned until September when it was opened before sentencing. 

CCTV footage, played in court, showed how Mr Wilson, 53, was investigating them  hanging around his work when violence from them exploded in the most appalling way.

He and colleague John Badejo warned them they were trespassing and should go before police arrived.

The youths said they had lost a phone and the two men even tried to help them before the brutal attack was launched.

Earnhsaw reached into his jogging bottoms and pulled out a 20ins sword he used to savagely attack Mr Wilson.

He passed it to his young accomplice Gaukroger – who wrote a pathetic rap about the killing – and at one point both tried to decapitate their helpless victim.

Audio recorded from Mr Wilson’s phone call to a security firm captured the younger of the two – who was 15 at the time – shouting ‘get his head, I want to cut his head, Kia I want to cut his head’.   

Leeds Crown Court heard that Mr Wilson was married with two grown-up children and enjoyed gardening, golf and walking in the Yorkshire Dales.

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His wife Elaine told the court his death was ‘completely incomprehensible’, adding: ‘How on earth have we come to this and why?’

She said she was sickened to receive a letter from one of the defendants saying it was the ‘worse night of my life and ‘I’m sorry”.

She told the judge she had been shocked to ‘feel so much hate’.

She said to the defendants: ‘I want you to know you have taken the life of a much respected, admired and good man.’

Peter Makepeace QC, prosecuting, told the court that Earnshaw started the attack after producing the blue sword from inside his tracksuit bottoms.

Mr Wilson was attacked outside the Thornton and Ross pharmaceutical plant in Huddersfield sparking a police probe

Mr Wilson was attacked outside the Thornton and Ross pharmaceutical plant in Huddersfield sparking a police probe

After he started raining blows on Mr Wilson, the younger teenager was heard repeatedly shouting: ‘Pass me the shank, pass me the shank.’

After multiple blows and kicks to Mr Wilson, Earnshaw passed the sword to Gaukroger, who can be identified after the judge lifted reporting restrictions following a submission by the media.

Mr Makepeace said the pair paused at one point to catch their breath and to rifle through Mr Wilson’s pockets, taking his coat.

The prosecutor said that, after they resume the attack, ‘Earnshaw and Gaukroger together holding the sword and crouching to the upper body then seem to make a concerted effort to saw the head from the shoulders’.

 ‘Both then jointly stab the upper body using their combined force.’

Police who arrived at the scene reported seeing one of the pair ‘using the sword in sawing motion to the neck area of the deceased as if trying to detach the head from the body’.

Mr Makepeace said Earnshaw was Tasered twice before he was arrested and officers used an incapacitant spray on the boy. 

He added: ‘It is no exaggeration to say the level of violence used by these males in the attacks was absolutely barbaric.’

The Ministry of Justice who released the amounts to MailOnline following a Freedom of Information Act request said legal aid was sent directly to lawyers for their services.

A spokesperson added: ‘In 2013 new legislation was brought in meaning that defendants must now pass a strict financial means test. Depending on their means, applicants for criminal legal aid can be required to pay contributions up to the entire cost of their defence.

‘Criminals and defendants do not receive a penny of legal aid, payments are means tested and sent directly to solicitors and barristers who defend them to ensure a fair trial.

‘Without legal representation criminals could argue their trial was unfair and convictions could be quashed.’ 


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