Jack Woodley’s mum reveals agony to judge set to sentence teen killers
The brave mum of stabbed Jack Woodley today stood up in court to reveal her devastation to the judge set to sentence his killers. Ten teens convicted of killing the 18-year-old Jack at a funfair are due to learn their fate this week. And today as their sentencing hearing got underway at Newcastle Crown Court, Zoey McGill took to the witness stand, to tell of her agony.
Jack Woodley murder: How long teen knife killers could be jailed for Fighting back tears the heartbroken mum told Judge Rodney Jameson of the moment she felt her son’s heartbeat for the final time, and how Jack’s youngest brother continues to cry himself to sleep at night. Zoey said: “This is unbearable for our family.
This has ruined our family’s lives and life will never be the same again without Jack. No parent, loved one or friend should suffer someone going to a fair and losing them forever.
“Jack had a loving, kind heart. He would always look to help others less fortunate than himself.
The devastation of losing Jack is immense and far-reaching. We can’t see a way of ever recovering from it.” Jack didn’t stand a chance when he was set upon in the street after enjoying a day out at the Houghton Feast funfair in Houghton-le-Spring, last October.
The gang surrounded Jack before stabbing him in the back with a ‘Rambo-style’ knife.
Flowers were placed at the scene after Jack was muirdered (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)
In June ten youths, aged between 14 and 18, were found guilty of Jack’s murder after a long and harrowing trial at Newcastle Crown Court. The court heard how Jack was attacked near the Britannia Inn pub on Newbottle Street on the night of October 16. Witnesses described how he he was surrounded by a group of youths who kicked and punched him before he was stabbed.
Jack Woodley (Image: Handout)
Jack, who was from County Durham, was taken to hospital but died from his injuries the following night.
Judge Jameson is due to pass sentence on Friday, but today heard mitigation from some of their barristers and details of the roles they played in the attack from the prosecution. Zoey also addressed the judge directly to read her moving victim personal statement.
The scene of Jack Woodley’s murder (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
She told of Jack’s childhood, and the pride she felt in 2014 when he gave her away at her wedding. “He was our cheeky chappie, our blue-eyed boy,” she said. “Jack was my reason to live.
From the moment Jack was born he brought light and love to us. “Jack was proud to walk me down the aisle and give my hand in marriage. A memory that will always stay with us.”
Flowers and heartbreaking messages outside The Britannia Pub in Houghton-le-Spring where 18-year-old Jack Woodley was allegedly murdered on Saturday night. (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)
The heartbroken mum also explained how after experiencing some problems in his teens, Jack had turned his life around in the months before he died.
“Over the past few years Jack had really changed his life for the good,” she said. “We were looking forward to the future. It was clear Jack had changed and was looking forward to putting his difficulties behind him.” Jack had recently obtained a forklift truck licence and was due to start a new job with Amazon on the Sunday after he was killed.
“He had also secured his own accommodation and received the keys on the day he was attacked,” said Zoey. Zoey also relived the final conversation she had with Jack as he enjoyed the fair. “At 8.30pm Jack phoned me laughing.
He said; ‘We are having a class time at the fair and asked me to transfer him some money,” she said. An hour later the mum received a text from Jack’s girlfriend saying he had been stabbed. “I had the most gut wrenching feeling that Jack was dead,” she said. “Twenty four hours later we were told to say goodbye to Jack.
“We will always be grateful to the management of the Brittania public house, the witnesses who helped, the Air Ambulance and the staff at the ICU who fought to save Jack. “Because of these people we were able to hear our son’s heart beat one last time.” Read next:
‘It’s a slap in the face for victims’: Fury as Rising Sun sex predator locked-up for less than nine years Shallow grave murder five years on: How tragic victim Darren Bonner was left for dead in Northumberland beauty spot ‘I never felt we got justice’ – Melissa Tate’s dad welcomes new life sentences for killer drivers