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Two Sheffield teenagers found guilty of murder

Two Sheffield teenagers who fatally stabbed a 19-year-old and left him to die on a stranger’s doorstep have been found guilty of murder.

Thomas Hardiman and Xander Howarth were both 17 years of age when they stabbed Adam Abdul-Basit to death on Monday 8 May 2023.

The pair, who are now 18, were spotted on CCTV wielding knives as they chased Adam into the front garden of a property in Smelter Wood Road.

Howarth who was wearing a balaclava and stab vest walked towards Adam with a machete raised over his head before swiping in his direction. Adam was trying to free himself from the duos attack before he was fatally wounded, Hardiman and Howarth then ran away from the scene.

Clutching his chest after suffering a 15cm deep wound, Adam managed to drag himself to a stranger’s front door but his injuries were unsurvivable.

Despite the best efforts of medical professionals who arrived promptly and administered CPR, Adam could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hardiman and Howarth were subsequently arrested by officers before being charged with murder. They previously couldn’t be named due to legal reasons but can now be identified.

After pleading not guilty to Adam’s murder, the pair appeared before Sheffield Crown Court in November for a trial. Earlier today (4 December), Hardiman and Howarth were found guilty by a jury following a 12-day trial.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Etheridge, who led the murder investigation, said: “This was a horrific and savage attack that has destroyed the lives of three young men from Sheffield.

“Hardiman and Howarth both left their homes armed with a knife before plunging it into Adam’s chest and leaving him to die in a stabbing that happened in broad daylight down a residential street.

They must now face the prospect of spending a considerable length of time behind bars, while Adam’s family must deal with the unimaginable pain and grief of knowing he will never be able to fulfil his dreams after his life was cut short in barbaric fashion.

“He died all alone on a stranger’s doorstep while his attackers showed complete cowardice in fleeing the scene and trying to evade justice.

“Rather than admitting their crimes, they then forced Adam’s family to relive this nightmare again in court during a trial and I am pleased the jury have returned a guilty verdict.

“I recognise that no prison sentence will ever repair the hurt and loss caused to Adam’s family but I hope they can take some comfort in seeing Hardiman and Howarth convicted today.

“I would like to thank all the officers involved in this case for working hard to gather evidence and secure justice for Adam’s loved ones.”

Hardiman, of Edenhall Road, and Howarth, of Richmond Park View, are both due to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on 22 December.

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