Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 15:41 UK

Two jailed over boy's pool death

Shane Owoo
Shane Owoo had taken a bike belonging to one of the defendants

Two men who forced a boy into a flooded clay pit and watched him drown have been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

The body of Shane Owoo, 16, was recovered from Lunt Pool in Bilston, West Midlands, on 30 September 2007.

The court heard Shane had been "frogmarched" down to the pool and pelted with stones in a row over a bike the day before he was found dead.

Christopher Lewis, 22, and Marvin Walker, 21, both from Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Tobias Davies, 21, of Frost Street, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for 12 months.

Detective Inspector Simon Richards spoke outside Birmingham Crown Court.

But he was released by Judge Peter Coulson, after already having served 13 months in prison on remand.

Sentencing the three men at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Coulson described the crime as "extraordinarily callous behaviour".

"This was a long and terrifying ordeal, deliberately inflicted on Shane Owoo," he said.

"Shane Owoo was not a voluntary swimmer and may have jumped into the pool, from what he was being told, out of sheer fear."

When the sentences were read out, one member of Shane's family shouted at the judge: "I hope none of your family get murdered."

Lewis, whose address was ordered not to be disclosed, and Walker were told they would have to serve half their sentence in custody and the other half on licence.

Marvin Walker and Christopher Lewis (left to right)
Marvin Walker and Christopher Lewis both pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Shane had been made to enter the pool after he had taken a bike belonging to one of the defendants, the police said at the time.

Sticks and stones were used to stop the teenager, described by police as "not a strong swimmer", from getting out of the water.

Prosecutor Anesta Weekes QC said the defendants were, "vigilantes taking the law into their own hands".

She said about a dozen people watched Shane struggle in the water and did not try to rescue him.

In a letter read out in court, Walker, of no fixed address, apologised for what he did.

'Always regret it'

The letter said: "It all went wrong, it all got completely out of hand and I am sorry. I did not want him to drown.

"I know I should have helped him but I did not and I will always regret it."

The court heard that although Davies carried out the initial attack on Shane, he was not involved in the incident at the poolside.

All three entered their guilty pleas on April 2.

During the hearing Shane's aunt Pauline Fox told the court: "I do not think anybody needs to go through what he went through. There was no reason whatsoever.

"It is something we are never going to be able to get over. To be treated in the way he was treated is really unforgivable."




SEE ALSO
Pair admit leaving boy to drown
02 Apr 08 |  West Midlands
Pond attack may have been filmed
02 Oct 07 |  West Midlands
Two more arrests over pond murder
01 Oct 07 |  West Midlands
Murder inquiry over boy in water
30 Sep 07 |  West Midlands

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