Two men have been sent to jail for stabbing an innocent teenager to death in Manchester – only moments after they posed with a Rambo-style hunting knife.
Kelvin Wilhelm, 26, had only been out of jail for just one month when he began playing with the 15 inch long knife to celebrate his early release.
He and a pal passed the knife to each other and made gang gestures as a girl videoed them on a mobile phone before he got into a row with 18-year-old John Muldowney.
Wilhelm wrongly accused John of stealing the phone, ordered to be stripped searched before beginning a ten second countdown in a bid to make him give back the phone.
When he got to three, Wilhelm began grappling with John only for the struggle to end when the teenager fell onto a bed dying from a fatal stab wound to the heart.
Police found the damning phone footage of Wilhelm larking about with the knife as they examined the horror scene at a house in Hollyhedge Road, Benchill, Wythenshawe, Manchester.
Yesterday, Wilhelm and accomplice Anthony Ellis, 23, started life jail terms after both were found guilty of manslaughter after a retrial at Manchester Crown Court.
Wilhelm has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years, and Ellis has been jailed for 10 years.
Both were convicted of murder in December 2010 but after being jailed were successful in overturning the verdict at the Court of Appeal.
Police discovered at the time of the killing that Wilhelm had been wanted for recall to prison after failing to comply with the conditions of his release.
He had been sentenced to 65 months for a knifepoint robbery at a house in January 2008 but was released early in May 2010 after serving only half his sentence.
He and Ellis became close friends and the younger man saw himself as a ‘big man’ and had adopted a ‘no one can touch me attitude’.
A girlfriend of Ellis told how he and Wilhelm both ‘egged each other on’, how ‘everybody else seemed to fade away into the background’ and how ‘it was all about them two’.
The tragedy occurred in June 2010 after John was invited to a party thrown by Ellis at his home.
During the evening, Ellis was spotted wearing the 15 inch knife – which had ‘teeth marks’ on the top of the blade – under the waistband of his trousers.
The court heard Ellis was then seen waving the knife around aggressively saying he was ‘going to kill hoodlums’ from a gang based in Moss Side, Manchester.
Later in a bedroom, a girl guest got hold of Wilhelm’s mobile phone and began videoing him as he and Ellis drunkenly larked about with the knife.
But Wilhlem then complained the phone had gone missing and accused John of taking it.
Sometime before 3am, Wilhelm demanded that the men present take their trousers off to show they were not hiding anything.
While others did this, John refused and got into a struggle with Wilhelm before Ellis joined in to help Wilhelm.
Screaming was then heard from outside the house.
Police and paramedics attended the scene and John was taken to hospital for treatment to a single stab wound to his chest but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Ellis and two others, who were still in the house, were arrested.
Wilhelm went to a police station the next day as he was wanted on recall to prison, and was arrested on suspicion of murder.
In a statement, John’s mother Jeanette Toner said: “I love my five children all the same but John held a shine in my heart. He was a smart, clean, fresh faced young man with manners.
“I am finding it difficult to put into words the pain I feel. No other pain has ever compared. No matter what happens to those who ended John’s short but precious life my heartache will never end.
“The re-trial has only served to open old wounds. Our suffering is no less, four years down the line.”
Detective Chief Inspector Graham Brock said: “This was a gathering that turned rowdy in the most tragic of ways.
“Wilhelm’s actions were that of a violent man who was firstly threatening people he called his friends with a knife, and then showed he was willing to inflict a fatal stab wound on John.
“Ellis was complicit in the murder as he egged on Wilhelm and did nothing to stop the stabbing.
“Our thoughts remain with John Muldowney’s family who have had to endure a second trial. I hope the sentence today gives them some comfort and that they are able to move on with their lives.”
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