Mum shares devastation as thugs who kicked and stabbed her son to death jailed

A gang of violent thugs who stabbed a “fun-loving” university student to death have been jailed as his mum speaks of her heartache.

Jack Donoghue, 21, was punched, kicked and fatally stabbed in the chest in a four-on-one attack close to Popworld nightclub in Solihull.

The Birmingham University student tragically died from catastrophic blood loss less than four hours after he was set upon in the early hours of November 30 last year.

His heartbroken mum Anne described Jack as a son with an “heart of cold which shone brightly” in a statement read to court.

The four thugs were “tooled up” and were “looking for trouble and confrontation”, having earlier attacked passers-by in the street after being told to leave Yates bar, reports Birmingham Live.

In a statement read to the court, his devastated mother Anne said: “The shock rushed through me. I was told Jack had been stabbed. The doctor told me they had done everything they could.

“Jack’s dad had to learn that his son had died by phone call. I saw my son lying dead on a hospital trolley.

Paying tribute to her son, her statement continued: “He was fun-loving, happy. When you were feeling down he could make you feel better.

“He had just turned 21 and was planning his future looking forward to what life had in store. He was in the second year of Birmingham University. He was an amazing and special person.

“He had an enormous heart of gold which shone brightly.”

Tyrall Blake, 21, of no fixed address, was convicted of Mr Donoghue’s murder and assault with intent to rob following a trial.

He has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years at Birmingham Crown Court today.

Nile Bennett, 22, from Erdington was found guilty of manslaughter and violent disorder. Bennett was sentenced to nine and a half years.

Regan Watters, 21, from Stechford and Connor Moore, 20, from Lichfield both admitted manslaughter.

Moore was sentenced to seven and a half years and Watters, who also pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob, was jailed for 11 years.

Sentencing, Judge Farrer said: “Moore you initiated the violence. I accept you did not intend a group attack to take place. You then chose to involve yourself in the group attack.

“I accept you weren’t aware that Blake was armed with a knife. You are now 21. You suffer from ADHD.

“Bennett you were with Blake when he collected his knife on two separate occasions. Your involvement arose at a relatively late stage. You were hard working and ambitious.”

“The investigation has been conducted with rigour,” the judge said. “I would like to express my sympathy to the family.of Jack Donoghue.”

Earlier, Judge Farrer said: “On the night of 29 November Blake went out armed with a knife. At about 1am the group made their way to Yates in Solihull town centre.

“They were asked to leave. Immediately outside Yates, Watters argued with a man. Someone referred to a shank.

“It demonstrates at this point Watters was looking for trouble.

“They were intent upon robbery.”

He continued: “Jack Donoghue tragically died outside Popworld in Solihull after four men attacked him.

“Jack Donoghue was leaving Popworld. Something was said. Moore would not let it go and head-butted Mr Donoghue.

“I have no doubt this was a wholly unjustified act of aggression. At this stage the violence was contained. I have no doubt he was not looking for trouble.

“Equally, he was not prepared to back down. At this point, the CCTV shows Blake reach to his stomach area. Blake showed his knife to his victim.

“Blake punched Mr Donoghue in the head. Blake showed his knife again. Watters moved forward and punched the victim twice.

“Mr Donoghue punched Blake in self-defence. He together with the other three attacked Mr Donoghue.”

He continued; “An eyewitness said: “I could see punches thrown at Jack and Jack was defending himself. From what I could see they were out to put him on the floor. They were swinging and punching.”

“Mr Donoghue was being overwhelmed. Blake deliberately stabbed Mr Donoghue to the chest. At that point the four defendants walked away.

“None of the group showed any remorse for the victim and carried on with their night out. He sustained a stab wound which penetrated his liver.”