Age is sadly no barrier when it comes to committing serious offences, as these cases involving South Yorkshire teenagers demonstrate.
In each of the cases included here, the defendants currently serving time were in their teens when they were brought to justice at Sheffield Crown Court.
The identity of some of the defendants on this list was initially protected by reporting restrictions due to them being under 18 when their cases reached court, only to be lifted at the request of the press by judges who believed it was in the public interest for them to be named.
1. Teen killers
Top row, left to right: Shea Heeley; Levan Menzies; Kyle Pickles
Middle row, left to right: Ruben Moreno; Isaac Ramsey; Boe Barton
Bottom row, left to right:Yaqeen Arshad; Emar Wiley; Jabari Fanty
In March 2018, Shea Heeley, aged 19, of Doe Quarry Lane, Dinnington, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 and a half years for murdering Dinnington schoolgirl, Leonne Weeks, in January 2017.
Judge Sarah Wright sent Yaqeen Arshad to begin a prison term of at least 14 years during a Sheffield Crown Court sentencing hearing on Monday, March 20, 2023, after jurors found him guilty of murdering 31-year-old Richard Dentith during a violent incident on Grimesthorpe Road, Burngreave, in the early hours of April 7, 2022. The identity of Arshad, of De La Salle Drive, Pitsmoor, can be reported, after Star court reporter, Jon Cooper, successfully applied for a reporting restriction protecting Arshad’s identity until his 18th birthday to be lifted. Arshad was 16 when he stabbed Mr Dentith to death. He was out with ‘an older friend apparently intending to smoke cannabis,’ at the time, Sheffield Crown Court heard. In the moments leading up to the fatal confrontation, Mr Dentith had walked past Arshad and his older friend as they were stood in a bus shelter on. Arshad began pursuing Mr Dentith, but the reason for that is not known. Mr Dentith suffered a stab wound to his arm, which severed an artery, causing him to bleed to death. Detective Inspector John Fitzgibbons, who led the investigation, said Arshad had refused to take ‘any responsibility for his actions’.
Minutes before sending 17-year-old Boe Barton to begin 18 years’ custody at His Majesty’s pleasure for the murder of 42-year-old Anthony Sumner, Judge Peter Kelson KC granted The Star’s request to lift a legal restriction protecting his identity on March 31, 2023. Barton, of South-East Sheffield, celebrated his 15th birthday just months before becoming involved in fatal, joint knife attack, along with his co-accused Richard Sampson, on 42-year-old Anthony Sumner on July 29, 2021. Sampson, then aged 50, of Prince of Wales Road, near Woodthorpe, Sheffield, was also sentenced for Mr Sumner’s murder during the same hearing, during which Judge Kelson jailed him for life, to serve a minimum of 28 years behind bars. Sending the pair to custody, Judge Peter Kelson KC said: “The circumstances and ferocity of this attack were both savage and cowardly. He continued: “I’m satisfied, on the evidence, that you set out to find Anthony Sumner that night, you followed him for a period of time…this was an ambush. There was a degree of planning, or pre-meditation, for an offence of violence.” “There were two of you…you chased your victim, you cornered him and attacked him when he was unarmed and defenceless.”