UK’s ‘youngest gun killer’, 14, sentenced to life for murder of schoolboy Keon Lincoln

UK’s ‘youngest gun killer’, 14, sentenced to life for murder of schoolboy Keon Lincoln

A 14-year-old boy who shot dead 15-year-old Keon Lincoln in a gun and knife attack in Birmingham has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years.

It comes after the judge ruled that the 14-year-old – Yussuf Mustapha – could now be identified after lifting reporting restrictions.

He is believed to be Britain’s youngest defendant convicted of a gun murder.

Mustapha was born in Italy and was said to be doing well at the same secondary school as Keon.

The decision at Birmingham Crown Court comes after the teenager and four other youths were convicted of killing Keon.

Michael Ugochukwu and Tahjgeem Breaken-Ridge were both 17 and with two others, aged 14 & 15, when Keon Lincoln was stabbed and shot outside his home in Handsworth on 21 January. Pics: Police
Image: Michael Ugochukwu and Tahjgeem Breaken-Ridge were both 17 and with two others, aged 14 and 15, when Keon Lincoln was stabbed and shot outside his home in Handsworth on 21 January. Pics: Police

Co-defendants Tahjgeem Breakenridge, 18, and Michael Ugochukwu, 18, were both sentenced to life for murder with a minimum term of 19 years.

A 16-year-old youth from Walsall, who was convicted of murder but cannot be named for legal reasons, was ordered to serve at least 17 years.

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A fifth defendant, Kieron Donaldson, 18, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Keon following the attack near his home in Handsworth in January 2021.

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Kieron Donaldson who was cleared of murder but convicted of the manslaughter of Keon Lincoln at Birmingham Crown Court. Issue date: Friday November 5, 2021.
Image: Kieron Donaldson was cleared of murder but convicted of the manslaughter of Keon Lincoln at Birmingham Crown Court. Pic: West Midlands Police

Donaldson, who supplied weapons to those involved in the killing, was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Passing sentence, Lord Justice William Davis said the murder had been “carefully planned and executed” using a revolver and a car stolen for use in the killing.

“It’s quite clear that all who came from the car were party to the use of the gun,” the judge said.

During the five-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the jury was told that Keon was stabbed eight times but the fatal injury was to his abdomen from one of two gunshots fired during the attack at 3.35pm on 21 January.

He died two hours later at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

CCTV showing Michael Ugochukwu armed with a blade at the scene. Pic: West Midlands Police
Image: CCTV showing Michael Ugochukwu armed with a blade at the scene. Pic: West Midlands Police

The trial heard that Breakenridge, Ugochukwu, and the 16-year-old were seen on CCTV holding long knives, and that Donaldson, of Aston Lane, Perry Barr, was alleged to have “helped and supplied weapons” for the attack.

Keon’s mother, Sharmaine Lincoln, said after the convictions: “I’m in a nightmare that I cannot wake up from. My heart is broken beyond repair. A piece of my soul has been taken from me.

“I see my baby boy’s face as he lay slumped on the ground struggling to breathe.

“I hear the words ‘his heart has stopped’. I miss my boy so much that it physically hurts.

“I would not wish this suffering on anyone and I can only hope that a day will come when the senseless murdering of children, will come to an end.”