Sheffield Crown Court: Devastated mum 'listens constantly' to voicemail message left by murdered son
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He said his heartbroken wife ‘listens constantly’ to a voicemail message left by their beloved son, which is saved to her phone.
Jacob Carroll, aged 27, and 26-year-old Jordan Davies were both found guilty of murdering 18-year-old Joevester Takyi-Sarpong, known as Joe, after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mark McCone, prosecuting, had told the jury the defendants had chased Joe before he was fatally stabbed on October 31, 2021, and his body was found near to the derelict former Doncaster County Court building the following morning.
Joe’s father, Daniel Aboraa Sarpong, told the court: “We walk and talk but none of us are really here. We think of Joe constantly and visit his grave at the cemetery every day.
“None of us can sleep through the night since this happened and we have all stopped eating. We have all lost so much weight we look markedly different from before.”
Mr McCone said Joe had been with friend Warren Flanagan when they were chased by the defendants on bicycles.
Joe’s body was found the following morning.
Mr McCone said even though CCTV showed the defendants chasing Joe the murder was not captured on any footage.
However, Mr McCone stressed the defendants pursued Joe and it did not matter which of them stabbed him because they had been acting together in a joint enterprise.
Mr Sarpong told the court the CCTV footage of his son being chased will haunt him until the end of his days.
He added he cannot believe the pain he sees in the face of his wife, who listens constantly to a voice message sent by Joe which she has saved on her phone.
Mr Sarpong said: “The pain etched on the face of my wife is far beyond anything I have ever seen. I do not know how she has survived this.”
Doncaster teenager Joe was loved and cherished by many, according to Mr Sarpong.
He said that over 200 people had attended his son's funeral.
Mr Sarpong said junior software developer Joe was becoming a “prominent” and “supportive” person in their family but all that potential has been taken away.
He added: “Joe was a bright light in our lives and that light has been extinguished.”
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the defendants they had both participated in stabbing a man after they had been scaring him away from their drug dealing patch on the Balby housing estate, in Doncaster.
The judge stressed that although Joe had peddled drugs “from time to time” he was far from convinced Joe had been doing so on the evening he was attacked.
He added the defendants had acted together and had ensnared Joe before Carroll stabbed him, and even though he accepted the defendants had not intended to kill Joe they had acted together to cause serious harm which amounted to murder.
Mr McCone said Davies, of no fixed abode, has 31 previous convictions and Carroll, also of no fixed abode, has 22 previous convictions.
Carroll had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but this was not accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Judge Richardson sentenced both Carroll and Davies to life imprisonment and told them they must both serve a minimum of 22 years before they can be considered for release.