Luke O’Connor: Teenager stabbed student to death after ‘silly and light-hearted’ joke, murder trial hears

Written by: Amos Osrah

A teenage music producer stabbed a student to death with a flick-knife after the victim’s buddy made a’silly and light-hearted’ comment about his skateboarding abilities, a murder trial heard.

Shiloh George Pottinger is accused of murdering Luke O’Connor on October 26 last year in Fallowfield, Manchester.

Luke O'Connor
Shiloh George Pottinger (pictured) is accused of murdering Luke O’Connor in Fallowfield, Manchester, on October 26 last year

A jury at Manchester Crown Court heard how Pottinger, 19, used a flick-knife known as a ‘Mafia stiletto’ in the terrible late-night attack after reacting in a ‘violent and unpredictable’ manner to the comment.

Following his death, the family of the second-year business management student paid tribute to the “gentle giant,” saying his loss had left a “hole in our hearts that will never be filled.”

Mr O’Connor, a 19-year-old student at Manchester Metropolitan University, was heading home with two friends along Wilmslow Road – in the heart of the city’s student district – just before 2 a.m. when they spotted Pottinger, according to prosecutor Mark Ford KC.

Pottinger, who was holding a skateboard, was leaning against a shutter near a row of shops and takeaways.

An artist and music producer known as OSU, according to his Spotify page, he has more than 14,000 monthly listeners and his song Let Me Know has been played more than 291,000 times.

Mr Ford said: ‘As they passed the defendant Charlie Robertson [Mr O’Connor’s friend] asked him if he could do a ”kick-flick”. It was obviously a reference to the fact the defendant had a skateboard and was intended as a silly or light-hearted comment.

Luke O'Connor: Teenager stabbed student to death after 'silly and light-hearted' joke, murder trial hears
Following the death of Mr O’Connor (pictured), the second-year business management undergraduate’s family paid tribute to the ‘gentle giant’

‘But the defendant did not take it well. In fact, he reacted in a violent and unpredictable manner.’

Mr Ford stated that Pottinger responded with a remark and began walking towards Mr O’Connor. He then pulled a flick-knife from his pocket and held it in front of Mr O’Connor’s face,’smiling as he did so’.

Mr Ford claimed that Mr O’Connor attempted to push Pottinger aside and’step back’ multiple times. The jury heard, however, that the defendant’s response was to hit Mr. O’Connor with his skateboard before it flew out of his hand.

Mr Ford testified before the jury that Mr O’Connor attempted to ‘place some distance’ between him and Pottinger. But that didn’t succeed, and Pottinger ‘pointed the knife towards Mr O’Connor’s armpit area,’ cutting him through his suit jacket.

CCTV footage shown to the jurors showed the duo grappling and collapsing to the ground, with the altercation continuing in the street. Mr O’Connor attacked the defendant and held on to him, but Pottinger repeatedly stabbed him in the torso, according to Mr Ford. Mr Robertson was seen coming to rescue his pal and temporarily being ‘entangled’ in the scuffle.

Mr Ford said Mr O’Connor ‘managed to take hold of the defendant and threw himself to the floor, taking the defendant with him’ and this caused the Pottinger to drop his knife.

‘But it was too late. The defendant had already inflicted fatal injuries to Mr. O’Connor,’ he said. ‘As he stood up, it was clear that he had sustained injuries to his torso that were bleeding heavily.’

Distressing footage showed Mr O’Connor, from Bromam, Befordshire, collapsing in the road, covered in blood.

Luke O'Connor: Teenager stabbed student to death after 'silly and light-hearted' joke, murder trial hears
Mark Ford KC, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr O’Connor tried to ‘put some distance’ between him and Pottinger (pictured).

He was treated at the site by paramedics and brought to the hospital in cardiac arrest, but he was pronounced dead at 4.51 a.m. He’d received eight knife wounds, causing significant internal injuries, including incisions to his right renal artery and aorta, and his right kidney had nearly been severed. His right lung had also given out.

Mr Ford stated that Pottinger departed the scene of the attack, discarded his jacket and skateboard, and washed his clothes to prevent detection.

A paramedic at the scene photographed the flick-knife, which was eventually seized by authorities.

Mr Ford claimed Pottinger’s previous night movements, in which he went drinking at a local bar after hopping over a wall, demonstrated that he didn’t want to ‘risk’ being inspected by door staff and having the knife discovered.

Pottinger, of Fallowfield, Manchester, denies the murder charge.

The trial is still ongoing.

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