Teenage boy jailed for killing Benjamin Orton in Swadlincote
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A teenage boy has been jailed for 12 years for killing 17-year-old Benjamin Orton, in Swadlincote.
Erik Rudaks, of Essex Drive, Church Gresley, was found guilty in December of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Derby Crown Court and was today (Friday 14 January) sentenced for killing Benjamin.
Benjamin, who was known as Benji to his friends and loved ones, and his 20-year-old friend were attacked on Wragg Passage, near to the Odeon cinema in the late evening of Saturday 12 June.
Sadly, despite attempts to save him, Benjamin died at the scene, having suffered 13 stab wounds- two which punctured his heart and right lung. His friend was also stabbed five times in the head and neck and survived, but suffered serious injuries.
The 17-year-old, who was 16 at the time of the offence, pleaded not guilty to killing Benjamin. He was cleared of murder, attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent but had previously admitted a charge of possessing a knife.
Two other teenagers, also aged 17, were cleared of all charges during the trial, including murder, manslaughter, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent. One of the 17-year-olds was also found not guilty of assisting an offender.
At the hearing the judge lifted reporting restrictions around identifying Rudaks following a request by the local media. It had previously been protected by law due to his age.
Amanda Orton-Taylor, Benjamin’s mother, said: “Our family will never be the same again, losing Ben has left a huge void in our lives that can never be filled, it’s like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle which will always be missing.”
“Nothing at all can bring Ben back to us at all. I just hope that other youngsters will realise how dangerous knives can be, so that we can stop other people having to go through the same.”
Detective Inspector Steve Shaw, who led the investigation into Benjamin’s death said: “What happened that evening resulted in some truly devastating consequences and Ben Orton tragically lost his life. He was much loved by his family and he can never be replaced. They continue to have my deepest sympathies for their loss.
“Whilst today’s sentence provides an element of justice for Ben, no sentence, however harsh, can ever bring him back.”
DI Shaw added: “Sadly, this case highlights the dangers of young people carrying knives. Such weapons are not ‘for show’ or ‘for protection’ as can sometimes be portrayed, they are lethal weapons capable of ending someone’s life in a moment. It is something we have to tackle as a community, and I would urge anyone who has information about knife crime to report it.”
If you are worried that someone you know may be carrying a knife or are affected yourself by knife crime, there is information, help and support available at www.knifefree.co.uk.
You can also report concerns to us to us:
Facebook– send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
Alternatively, you can anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
We are sharing this as part of Operation Wintershield a force wide, multi-agency operation which focuses on reducing knife crime and serious violent crime across the county, especially amongst vulnerable groups such as children and young people.
The operation will run until the end of February 2022 and for its duration officers and staff will be sharing the excellent work that is going on to tackle the root cause of these often-devastating crimes.
You can follow our work on social media by following #OpWintershield.