Mum’s powerful statement to teenager who murdered her child in cold blood

Bardia Shojaeifard stabbed Alfie Lewis to death ‘in full view’ of young pupils leaving school (Picture: PA/West Yorkshire Police)

A knife-obsessed 15-year-old who stabbed another boy through the heart on the way home from school has been locked up for life.

Bardia Shojaeifard was only 14 when he killed Alfie Lewis, 15, outside a primary school in the Horsforth area of Leeds last November.

Alfie collapsed and died ‘in full view’ of parents and young children leaving a primary school.

Shojaeifard admitted stabbing Alfie with a 13cm-long kitchen blade he had taken out with him from home but denied murder, claiming he only brandished it in fear for his own life.

But he was convicted following a trial at the city’s crown court and was jailed for life today.

Shojaeifard can be named publicly for the first time after the judge, Mr Justice Cotter, lifted reporting restrictions preventing him from being identified.

He said lifting the defendant’s anonymity would help in the ‘vitally important debate about the scourge of knife crime, among young people in particular’.

Mr Justice Cotter said people would be wondering how a young boy ‘from a loving and supportive family’ could commit such an ‘extraordinary’ crime ‘without forewarning or any warning signs save for some pictures of knives on his phone’.

‘Outwardly Bardia was a normal 14-year-old boy with no interest in crime, albeit with a poor school disciplinary record,’ the judge said.

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The court heard he had no interest in drugs, gangs or mental health issues.

Addressing her son’s killer directly as she read her victim impact statement in court, Alfie’s mum Heather Lane said: ‘No sentence will ever be enough for what you have done.

‘I will never, ever forgive you.’

Ms Lane sobbed as she said: ‘Alfie was my heart and when he was stabbed in the heart it killed me too.’

She described Alfie as her ‘big-hearted boy’ who was known for ‘sorting out everyone’s problems and being the peacekeeper’.

‘We laughed, danced and smiled, we loved each other for 15 years and I thought we would for the rest of my life.’

In a statement read to the court, Alfie’s older brother, Antony Lewis, said he was his ‘loving and caring little mate’ who ‘never deserved what happened to him’.

Nicholas Lumley KC, defending, said the crime was ‘out of character’ and that Shojaeifard was the son of ‘utterly decent, loving parents’.

All witnesses told jurors Alfie was not the aggressor (Picture: PA)

Alfie Lewis, 15, died after being attacked outside a primary school in Horsforth, Leeds (Picture: Leeds Live/MEN Media)

During the trial, prosecutor Craig Hassall KC said Alfie had been walking down the street to meet friends at the end of the school day when Shojaeifard attacked him.

He said witnesses recalled Alfie looking ‘surprised and shocked’ and saying: ‘What are you doing?’ as the incident unfolded close to St Margaret’s Primary School in Town Street, Horsforth, just before 3pm on November 7, 2023.

The prosecutor said: ‘Alfie did not get as far as meeting any of his friends that day.

‘He was approached by Shojaeifard and stabbed twice – once in the chest and once in the leg.

‘He collapsed and died in the road close to the primary school in full view of scores of pupils leaving school and the people who were waiting to collect them.’

Mr Hassall said a post-mortem examination found that the fatal stab injury was a 14cm deep wound to Alfie’s chest which punctured his heart.

He told the jury the defendant ‘then fled the scene, dropping the murder weapon in the road close to the primary school’.

The court heard all the witnesses were ‘consistent’ in saying that Alfie was ‘not the aggressor’ that day.

Shojaeifard told the jury he was scared of Alfie after two incidents in the months before.

The latter of these happened on Halloween when, according to the teenager, he walked past Alfie’s house with a bag of fireworks and Alfie said to him: ‘Give me the bag or something worse than last time is going to happen.’

The young defendant said that, when he returned to school after a half-term break, he decided to take a knife from the kitchen drawer to protect himself.

One witness described Shojaeifard’s attack as ‘vicious’ (Picture: PA)

Mr Justice Cotter said he did not accept Shojaeifard’s evidence that he was ‘trying to scare Alfie away and swung the knife aimlessly’.

‘You intended to cause him really serious harm. You carefully planned to confront Alfie to gain revenge for whatever happened on October 31,’ the judge told the defendant.

He said one witness described Shojaeifard’s attack as ‘vicious’ and that he was ‘trying as much as he could to inflict some sort of damage to Alfie’.

The judge said: ‘Alfie was a much loved and loving son and nephew, a friend to many – kind and big-hearted with a love of football, something you shared, you even played together in Year 5.

‘Despite his difficulties at school he had many positive qualities. He had a long life ahead of him and you took that away.’

He added: ‘Knives have stolen so many lives, and you and others must understand how dangerous this obsession is.

‘Without your interest in knives Alfie would be here today.’

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