Luke O’Connor was killed in Fallowfield after light-hearted skateboard comment, court told

The second year MMU student was fatally stabbed after coming home from a Halloween party

Luke O’Connor was stabbed to death in Fallowfield last October after his mate made a “silly and light-hearted” comment about skateboarding to the alleged attacker, a court has been told.

19-year-old Luke, who was a second year student at Manchester Metropolitan University, was coming home with mates from a Halloween party when he was fatally stabbed on Wilmslow Road on 26th October last year.

Teenager, Shiloh George Pottinger, who was not believed to be known by Luke was charged with his murder. Pottinger, who has previously pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article, denies the charge of murder.

Leading the prosecution, Mark Ford KC told the Jury has heard that Pottinger reacted “unpredictably and violently” to a “silly, lighthearted” comment made by Luke’s friend, Charlie, asking if he could perform a “kick flick” on the skateboard he was holding.

The jury was shown CCTV footage, where prosectors say Pottinger can be seen “smiling” as he turned towards Luke following Charlie’s comment, pulling out a 13-inch mafia stiletto knife.

Shiloh George Pottinger is on trial for the murder of Luke O’Connor

Prosecutors allege the footage shows Pottinger pushing Luke before putting the knife back into his pocket. They say that as Luke then pushed Pottinger, Pottinger reacted by striking Luke over the head with his skateboard. It is alleged that as Pottinger went to strike Luke for the second time with his skateboard, he pulled out the knife and stabbed Luke through the jacket of his suit.

The footage then allegedly showed the two men engaging in a fight in the road. Luke punched the defendant and held on to him, but as he did so Pottinger “repeatedly” stabbed him to the body, Mr Ford said.

Charlie “tried to assist” his friend but distressing footage showed Luke collapsing in the road and bleeding heavily.

Pottinger reportedly fled the scene, disposing of his jacket and skateboard over the wall of Owen’s Park student accommodation.

The jury was told that Luke had eight “substantive” stab wounds. CPR was commenced at the scene. Luke tragically passed away at 4.51am in hospital as a result of his injuries.

At the time of his death, Luke’s family paid tribute to the MMU student. They described him as a “gentle giant with big hopes and dreams for the future”.

The second year business management student was “loving life in Manchester” and the “freedom of student living and studying”.

“His biggest dream was to travel the world, but now Luke will never be able to fulfil that dream,” his family added.

A post mortem found that Luke had sustained eight knife wounds which had cause incisions to his renal artery, his aorta and divided his right kidney in two. It also found that his right lung had collapsed.

Shiloh George Pottinger denies murder, the case continues.

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