Boy, 16, sentenced to life for murder of teenager Mikey Roynon in Bath

Boy, 16, sentenced to life for murder of teenager Mikey Roynon in Bath

A 16-year-old boy has been detained for life for murder after stabbing a talented teenage rapper in the back of the neck with a “zombie” knife at a house party in Bath.

Two of the murderer’s 16-year-old friends, who were also carrying zombie knives, were detained for nine years and nine years and six months after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Mikey Roynon, 16.

During his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Saini said the killing was an example of the “plague of knife crime” that was blighting Bristol and surrounding areas. He said: “The lives of young boys who carry knives continue to be taken at the hands of other boys who carry knives.”

He said Mikey, from Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, was still a child but had a “bright musical career ahead of him”.

Mikey’s mother, Hayley Ryall, said: “Every morning I wake up and it hurts as much as the last morning. I keep having awful dreams that Mikey is lost and I’m looking for him, but even the awful dreams are better than waking up to reality. At least in my dreams he is somewhere, whereas in reality he is gone.”

She described how difficult she found what would have been Mikey’s 17th birthday in November without him, and spoke of her sadness that she would never be called “mum” again. She said: “I feel like I’m living in a film or a nightmare and soon I’ll wake up and I’ll be able to hug and kiss him and Mikey will say ‘It’s OK, Mum.’”

The judge lifted an order banning identification of the killers. The boy convicted of murdering Mikey is Shane Cunningham, who will serve 16 years before being considered for parole. The two boys convicted of manslaughter are Cartel Bushnell and Leo Knight.

A jury at Bristol crown court rejected the claims of the boys, who are from the Wiltshire market town of Devizes, that they were acting in self-defence.

They travelled to Bath by bus in June last year for an open-invitation birthday party. They were each armed with zombie knives hidden beneath their clothes. One other member of the party took a knife. The judge said: “You took a total of four big knives to what was supposed to be a fun occasion. How you each got hold of these horrendous and unlawful weapons and why you took them to the party will never be known.”

The three did not know Mikey. He arrived at the party with friends from Bristol. He had reputation as a rapper and his appearance at the party went down well and some of his songs were played.

There were about 70 young people at the party. The judge said he was sure Mikey also had a knife. The judge said: “Something happened in the garden which led to the violence. A number of the Bristol boys began drawing knives.”

Cartel and Leo took their knives out, ready to fight. The judge said: “Mikey drew a knife and struck towards Cartel. Shane stabbed Mikey in the neck. The knife passed through his neck and severed a major artery.”

DI Mark Newbury, the senior investigating officer, said: “Knife crime is a disease which leaves a horrifying and long-lasting mark on everyone it affects. It’s a national problem which isn’t limited to specific towns or cities and we must come together as a society to tackle it.”