‘My son’s last words were the names of his killers… now they can finally be heard’

Reece Tansey was stabbed to death after he was convinced to meet 16-year-old James White and 15-year-old Mark Nuttall near Great Lever Park in Bolton in the middle of the night.

Reece Tansey with her father Ian
Reece Tansey with her father Ian

A teenager covered in blood told two strangers that he had been attacked before dying on the street, but the names have remained anonymous until now.

On May 4, 2021, Reece Tansey was stabbed six times after being attacked near Great Lever Park in Bolton.

The 15-year-old and a friend had been persuaded to meet James White, 16, and Mark Nuttall, 15, in the middle of the night, the Manchester Evening News reported.

But when Reece’s friend decided not to go to the meeting, the teenager was left alone.

He was unarmed and outnumbered.

White and Nuttall, who had run away from their families’ homes, stabbed the teen before fleeing the scene.

A short time later, two men saw a teenage boy staggering in the middle of the street.

Covered in blood and rapidly losing consciousness, he used his last breath to tell complete strangers the names of the two teenagers who had viciously stabbed him moments before.

Reece collapsed and died in the street.


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The clue would prove crucial in the conviction of White and Nuttall.

White would go on to post a video of himself with a blood-covered knife on Snapchat, accompanied by the word “muppet.”

He later sent a message to Nuttall, which read: “I thought it just went through his coat, so I kept going.”

He added: “He’s already dead.”

Nuttall responded with a laughing emoji.

They were arrested a short time later.

Reece managed to tell two strangers the name of his killers


Ian Nice/SWNS)

The shocking details of his murder came to light in a grueling trial at Manchester Crown Court.

The court was told how friends White and Nuttall were fueled by social media bravado and liked to “pretend they were gangsters”.

Throughout a police investigation and subsequent trial and sentence, both White and Nuttall were protected by strict information restrictions.

Only able to be identified as Boy A and Boy B, their sinister crimes were protected to some extent by their anonymity, until last week.

Following a request from the Manchester Evening News and The Bolton News, Judge Farbey agreed to lift an order made under section 45 of the Juvenile Justice and Criminal Evidence Act which restricted the disclosure of his identity.

For the first time, the country was told that both White, convicted of Reece’s murder and jailed for 15 years, and Nuttall, convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison, had been responsible for Reece’s death.

Reece’s father, Ian Nice, 47, said his son would have wanted the names of his killers revealed and that this revelation is a relief after months of torment.

“It would have been difficult for Reece if they weren’t named,” Ian explained.

“Now it has a closure. It was also difficult because we couldn’t put anything on social media. We couldn’t put the names, but now it’s a relief.”

“I know Reece wanted to continue that, with them being named. Reece’s last words before he died were the boys’ names.”

He added: “He wasn’t just my son, he was my best friend, and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and hold his hand and say, ‘I love you, son.’

James White was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years


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Mark Nuttall was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years.


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Ian, who works in traffic management, said he last spoke to Reece hours before his death.

He had asked Reece, whom he described as his ‘best friend’, to visit him for takeout and says he will never stop thinking about what might have happened if he had come instead of hanging out with his friends.

“I called him between 9:30 pm and 10:00 pm,” he explained.

“He always came over to kick back on the PS4 and have a takeaway night. That’s the bond we had – he was my best friend.”

“Reece had said, ‘Dad, stop pecking at my head. I’m with my friends!” so I said, “Okay son, I’ll leave you with your friends.”

“I told him, ‘I love you, son, I love you.’ That was it.

The murder took place in the early hours of May 4.


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“I’m so upset that he didn’t come to mine that night – I blame myself. But I couldn’t push Reece, I couldn’t force him to come to mine.”

Ian said he was heartbroken that he couldn’t be with Reece during his final moments.

He said, “I brought him into the world. I held it in my hands when it was born, and cut the cord. And not being there in his last moments of life, that hurts me.

“But I am very proud of him. If I had been stabbed multiple times, I’m sure I would have fallen to the ground and that would be it.

“He knocked on someone’s door asking for help and they took his hand, they were with him until he died.

“I thanked people very much for what they did for my son and I talked to them.

He added: “If I could have one more hour with a beer and takeout, I would just say ‘I love you, go on and live your life up there, and dad will always be here and do things for you.’ your name, and your name will live.

But Ian said his battle for justice is far from over.

Ian with Reece when he was a baby

Reece’s family plans to appeal the length of Nuttall’s prison sentence, with Ian arguing that the sentences handed down to White and Nuttall will not do enough to deter children from carrying knives in the future.

He said: “There needs to be a tougher law and sentences for knife crime because there are children killing children.

“The government is doing nothing about knife crime.

“They can have fucking parties, but Boris should be sitting down to deal with knife crime.

“He should get tougher punishments, tougher sentences and more police on the streets.

“You don’t carry a knife to cut potatoes and carrots on the street. You are intentionally carrying a knife to kill someone.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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