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Three thugs jailed after they stabbed innocent father-of-one through the heart for his Gucci bag

Three thugs jailed after they stabbed innocent father-of-one through the heart for his Gucci bag

Three thugs who used a 15-inch hunting knife to stab an innocent father of one to death for his Gucci bag have been sentenced to at least 58 years in prison.

Ryan O’Conner, 26, was walking to the stores when he was randomly attacked by the gang who jumped out of the car and stabbed him for his Gucci bag.

He was found unresponsive in Newport on June 10 last year after sustaining stab wounds to his heart, lungs, back and hand, resulting in significant blood loss, and he was later pronounced dead by medics.

Joseph Jeremy, then 17, and Lewis Aquilina, 20, were convicted of his murder, while Kyle Raisis, 18, was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Arming themselves with large knives, the trio targeted Mr O’Connor for his bag during a violent robbery shortly after 9 p.m.

Witnesses described how Jeremy used a 15-inch hunting knife to stab Mr. O’Connor to death before laughing and yelling, “I hit him.”

Three criminals who used a 15-inch hunting knife to stab an innocent father of one Ryan O'Connor, 26, for his Gucci bag, have been sentenced to a combined minimum of 58 years

Three criminals who used a 15-inch hunting knife to stab an innocent father of one Ryan O’Connor, 26, for his Gucci bag, have been sentenced to a combined minimum of 58 years

Joseph Jeremy

Joseph Jeremy

Joseph Jeremy was seen laughing after stabbing Mr. O’Connor to death for his Gucci bag

He then told friends ‘we have his Gucci bag’ before jumping the gang back into the stolen Ford Fiesta and fleeing the crime scene.

Victim Mr O’Connor – a popular father of a child known as Apple – died within minutes shortly before his son’s first birthday.

Justice Saini condemned the killers, describing the attack as “cruel and cowardly.”

He told his killers, “He was a loving and devoted father to his son Teddy.

“Mr. O’Connor was a happy character who would do anything for anyone.

“He was taken from his family in the prime of his life.”

Newport Crown Court heard that Jeremy was “fascinated by knives” and had been convicted of stabbing a teenage rival just months before the deadly attack on Ryan.

Jeremy bought a range of knives, including large ‘Predator’ and ‘Rambo’ knives.

Lewis Aquilina

Kyle Raisis

Lewis Aquilina (left) has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Mr O’Connor, while Kyle Raisis (right) has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after being convicted of manslaughter and theft

The court heard witnesses reported the car to police and the Fiesta was involved in a high-speed chase later that day and was stopped by a stinger.

Jeremy gave evidence, claiming he bought the knife in Newport, but claimed he had nothing new about the attack.

He said he needed the knives for “protection” against a rival group from his home city of Cardiff.

Jeremy told the jury, “They bully me because I’m small, that’s why I carry a knife.”

He denied any part in the attack – but admitted he had “a fascination with knives.”

Jeremy was given a life sentence and was told to serve at least 24 years for murder and theft.

Judge Mr. Justice Saini told him, “You have an obsession with knives. You may never be released.”

Acquilina was given a life sentence with at least 22 years for murder and his role in the robbery.

Rasis was sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter and his role in the robbery.

In a victim statement, Mr O’Connor’s family described him as “a pleasant, happy and happy character and loved by all.”

They added that he had been: ‘taken from us senselessly. His untimely death has torn the heart of his family.

“Ryan’s death destroyed us all and everyone who knew him lost something.”

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