Investigation ‘remains open’ as police continue to hunt down killer of Kieran Williams
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Yesterday (Monday March 27) Louis Hackett, 20, of Fordenbridge Square, Sunderland, was jailed for five years after he lured his best friend to a secluded spot where he was stabbed 23 times and buried in a clandestine grave.
Hackett appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for sentence after a jury cleared him of murder but convicted him of manslaughter last month.
Summing up at the sentencing hearing, judge Mr Justice Jay highlighted how others involved in Kieran's death had ‘got away with it’ and that ‘justice has not been done’.
Now Detective Chief Inspector Matt Steel, of Northumbria Police, has vowed to continue the hunt to bring Kieran’s killer or killers to justice.
He said: “We can confirm this remains an open investigation. We are actively pursuing a number of lines of enquiry, and we will also continue to act on any new information which comes forward.”
“Our thoughts continue to be with Kieran’s family and loved ones following their loss.
"This is a truly tragic case in which a family have been left completely devastated and we will continue to support them wherever we can.
"We want to make it clear that violence of any kind is completely unacceptable – and is never the answer.
"When incidents do occur we are committed to doing all we can to bring those responsible to justice by putting them before the court.”
Kieran Williams' body was set on fire then concealed in a makeshift burial plot and covered with sticks, leaves and litter, at a disused industrial estate near the Northern Spire bridge last April.
The 18-year-old's remains were found six weeks later.
Prosecutors said Hackett, who has learning difficulties, ‘pestered’ Kieran to meet him, knowing he would come to ‘at least some harm at the hands of others’.
However Mr Justice Jay, accepted Hackett did not know Kieran would “suffer really serious harm, still less that he would be stabbed 23 times in a brutal attack."
Ben Cook, 19, of Fordfield Road, Sunderland, was cleared of murder and manslaughter.