Three Carlisle men have been sentenced to 51 years in prison for their role in the killing of 14-year-old Jordan Watson last June.
The following two men were found guilty of murder:
- George Thomson, 19, of Upperby Road, Carlisle, was sentenced to life in prison, and will serve a minimum of 27 years;
- Brahnn Finley, 19, of Furze Street, Carlisle, was sentenced to life in prison, and will serve a minimum of 14 years;
The following was found guilty of manslaughter:
- Daniel Johnston, 20, of Petterill Bank Road, Carlisle, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
On June 16th 2015, police were called to the cemetery on Manor Road, Carlisle, by a member of the public who had found a male body. The body was later identified as 14-year-old Jordan Watson, of Ridley Road, Carlisle, and a pathologist determined that the cause of death was multiple wounds to the head and neck caused by a sharp implement.
The court heard that the boy suffered a savage and brutal attack after being lured to the cemetery by Thomson, motivated by jealousy over Jordan’s 14-year-old girlfriend with whom Thomson was attempting to have a relationship.
Speaking following the trial, Detective Superintendent Andrew Slattery who was the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said:
"Jordan Watson died as a result of a horrific attack which can only be described as savage and brutal. For anyone to die in these circumstances is appalling, but this pre-meditated murder was carried out on a small 14-year-old boy.
"Jordan was an ordinary 14-year-old boy, like hundreds of others growing up in Carlisle. To his family though he wasn’t ordinary, he was unique, he was their son and brother and they loved him.
"As teenagers do, he looked up to adults as role models and one of those was George Thomson who befriended him. Thomson encouraged Jordan to visit him at home and showed off his collection of weapons. He told him exciting stories about his money-making schemes and promised him money in return for helping him with his illicit business. Jordan would have been excited about the prospect of earning what would have been to him huge sums of money.
"But George wasn’t Jordan’s friend; he had an obsession with his 14-year-old girlfriend and would stop at nothing to have her for himself. George’s friendship with Jordan was a sham but Jordan trusted George and felt comfortable with him, alone, at night in a secluded place.
"Brahnn Finley knew Thomson and owed him money after ripping him off in a street level drug deal. Finley agreed to pay his debt by helping Thomson out with a job that needed doing and so he took his best friend Daniel Johnston along too. That job, which Thomson had planned for weeks, was the murder of Jordan Watson at the cemetery in Upperby.
"Jordan left his home that night in good spirits, no doubt looking forward to spending his money but he never returned. He was murdered in a vicious and sadistic attack which shocked the whole community.
"I hope that today’s sentences give some satisfaction to Michael and Lisa Watson but I know that this has changed their lives forever. I would like to thank them for the patience and trust they have placed in the police and for the dignity they have shown during the course of the trial.
"I would also like to thank the jury for the way they have listened to the facts put before them and deliberated carefully in coming to their verdicts. These are 12 ordinary members of the community who have had to examine some very distressing evidence.
"I am very grateful to Mr Medland and Mr Evans for the way they have presented the case at court and to the Crown Prosecution Service who have carefully prepared the prosecution case with us.
"Lastly I must thank the superb team of officers and staff from Cumbria Constabulary who have shown great dedication and professionalism for the last seven months in first apprehending and then prosecuting these three dangerous individuals. This has been the largest murder investigation the force has carried out for more than five years.
"Together we have finally achieved what the Watson family and their friends wanted all along which was justice for Jordan."
Following the verdict Jordan’s parents, Mike and Lisa, said:
“The horrific tragedy that happened to our son Jordan in June 2015 will always be in our memory. The past seven months have been a living nightmare.
“Jordan was full of fun and was loved by his family, particularly his younger sister which he was very protective of. We have our own special memories of Jordan which no one can take away from us.
“For the past seven months we have had so many unanswered questions. Every day we question why the life of our 14-year-old child was taken in such a cruel and violent way. We will never see our child grow up and live a full life.
“We are very grateful to the local community for their generous support and kindness since Jordan died.
“Getting justice for Jordan has helped restore our trust and faith in people again. No sentence will ever truly reflect the deep loss we feel for losing our child Jordan.
“We are relieved with the verdict given and believe that those responsible for the brutal and callous killing of our child have been brought to justice. Only now can we truly take the first steps in getting our lives back on track.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in bringing those responsible to justice.”
Alisha Watson, Jordan’s sister, said:
“The things I can remember about my big brother were going swimming, walking our dogs, Marley and Lucy, and having a snowball fight on the front when it had snowed.
“I am sad that my big brother isn’t here anymore. I miss him loads, I like to go visit him to light a candle for him so he is not on his own.”
Scott Rogers, Jordan’s friend, said:
“I miss Jordan loads, he is a big miss and he wasn’t my just my friend, we were more like brothers. I liked going fishing with Jordan and in the summer we went to Ullswater where we raced rubber dinghies.”
Jade Rogers, Scott’s mother and a family friend, said:
“Jordan was a happy, full of life, boy who was always smiling. He wasn’t just a friend’s son; he was like a son to me and knew how to make me smile.
“He will be a massive miss to me. I will never forget his cheeky smile and banter. Miss you always son - shine bright.”
The following "selfies" were taken just before the murder of Jordan Watson.
The following clips are from the police interviews held with George Thomson, Brahnn Finley and Daniel Johnston: