They resemble a pair of typical teenagers, however, in the dead of night they committed the worst act imaginable on one of their peers.
Both of the boys’ parents had every reason to believe that they were tucked up in bed.
However James White, and his friend Mark Nuttall – both 15 and pictured for the first time – were ‘living out a fantasy’, Manchester Evening News reports.
A court heard how the pair ‘pretended they were gangsters’.
On May 4, 2021, White snuck out of his home armed with two knives – one for him and another for Nuttall.
Nuttall had got into a social media spat with a friend of 15-year-old Reece Tansey and things eventually escalated into serious threats on Snapchat.
White told Reece that he would make him ‘beg for his life’ and told him ‘u and ur boy will get it’.
Reece and his friend agreed to meet White and Nuttall for a fight near Great Lever Park, in Bolton, but while Reece was en route, the 15-year-old’s friend told him that he had decided to stay in bed.
Reece turned up to the arranged meeting place alone and he was stabbed six times.
He banged on the door of a nearby house desperately pleading for help before falling to the ground.
Having been discovered by two men, he used his final breath to tell them the names of his killers.
Reece was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital, but was officially pronounced dead at 5.45am.
In a sickening move, White then took to Snapchat to boast about what he had done.
In one video, he was seen carrying a knife covered in blood alongside the caption ‘muppet’.
In another message, White told Nuttall: “I thought it only went through his coat so I kept doing it.
He added: “He’s dead now.”
Nuttall then responded with a laughing emoji.
White would later throw the knife into a brook, afraid his mum might come across it at home.
The last time she had seen him the previous night was at 10.30pm, when he was playing on his Xbox.
Upon checking on him in the morning, he was back asleep in bed as if nothing had happened.
It was later that same morning, that White went into the living room and told his mum what he had done.
“Last night I went out and got into an argument,” White said.
“I stabbed someone and I have just found out they have died.”
His mum gathered the clothes he had been wearing, including a blood-stained glove matching Reece’s DNA, and put them in a bin bag.
White was bundled into the car and taken to Bolton police station, where he was arrested at 1.25pm.
During a three-week trial, prosecution barrister Mark Ford QC described the two boys as having a ‘swaggering determination to prove how tough they were’ and killed Reece in order to ‘teach him a lesson’.
“He died because White and Nuttall were determined to demonstrate to their peers how their rivals would be put in their place,” Mr Ford told jurors.
But their ‘macho bravado’, as it was described in court, led to the tragic and utterly needless loss of a fellow teenager’s life.
Following the trial and 29 hours of deliberation, White, now aged 16, was jailed for 15 years, after being convicted of murder.
Nuttall was found guilty of a manslaughter and sentenced to six years imprisonment. He is set to be released halfway through his sentence from him-two weeks before his 18th birthday from him.
Sadly, Reece will never get to see his 18th birthday.
In a victim statement, his heartbroken mum Laura Tansey said: “Reece was our 15-year-old son, he made us smile, he made us laugh, he made us tear our hair out at times, a typical teenage lad, but he was ours.
“Reece was fiercely protective of his mum and little brother, and saw himself as the man of the house. His dad saw him as his best friend.
“Reece was simply our world, and his death has devastated us beyond belief.”
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