Hartlepool man found guilty of stabbing teenager after heated football game at Seaton Sports Domes

A young Hartlepool man has been found guilty of stabbing a teenager after a game of football.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:56 pm

Declan Kelly, 19, followed and attacked the 16-year-old boy after they played football at The Sports Domes, in Seaton Carew, last year.

The victim said he felt like he had been punched to the top of his right leg but later realised he had been stabbed as his shorts were covered in blood.

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The victim was attacked after playing football at The Sports Domes in Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

On Wednesday, July 21, he was found guilty by the jury who took under an hour to come to their unanimous verdict.

The incident took place at about 5pm on February 14 last year after two groups of boys, who did not know each other, agreed to play football at the domes facility.

The court heard the game came to an end as a result of some hard tackles made by the victim.

He told the court he decided to leave when he overheard one of the boys on the opposing team say they were going to get their brother to come down.

The trial took place at Teesside Crown Court.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said: “When [he] got outside he was pursued by Mr Kelly who caught him up, confronted him and then punched him to the back of the right buttock area.

"[The victim] felt the punch, he didn’t see it, and then he managed to run away from Mr Kelly and make his way back home.

"But on the way he noticed that his leg was bleeding quite heavily and he formed the view that he had been stabbed.

"He went to his mother’s house and told her what had happened.”

He attended Hartlepool hospital’s urgent care unit and the wound was treated with two stitches.

Under cross examination, the victim admitted making hard tackles and winding up players on the opposing team.

He said: “Yeah, but that doesn’t warrant stabbing me. Who even brings a knife to a football game?”

The prosecution alleged Kelly, of Freemantle Grove, Hartlepool, messaged the friends he had been playing football with afterwards on Snapchat and said “don’t grass”.

He was bailed and will be sentenced in September.

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