A MAN has been jailed for the manslaughter of a music student who was attacked while he made his way home from a party in Manchester.
Manchester Metropolitan University undergraduate Luke O’Connor was walking home from the party with friends at around 2am on October 26, 2022, when he crossed paths with Shiloh George Pottinger on Wilmslow Road.
Following an altercation about a skateboard, Pottinger, of Fallowfield, attacked the 19-year-old, stabbing him eight times with a flickknife and leaving him in the street.
Pottinger, who denied murder, was found guilty of manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 15 years yesterday afternoon.
The judge ruled that the 20-year-old must serve at least 10 years before being considered for release.
Following the sentencing, Luke’s father Jason O’Connor made a statement outside court in which he claimed Pottinger’s jail term did not “reflect the magnitude of the crime or the loss of Luke’s life”.
Mr O’Connor asked “how many more parents and families and friends have to go through the pain and the heartache that knife crime brings?”.
He added that Luke was “the glue” that kept their family together and “all our lives now feel empty without [him]”.
In a statement, Luke’s family said they were “truly devastated by this tragedy”.
“Luke was loved by so many people, and he knew how much he was loved in return” they said, while paying tribute to their “bubbly, lively, beautiful boy”.
“We are relieved Shiloh Pottinger is now behind bars, although his sentence in no way compares to our life sentence,” they added.
Detective Sergeant Laura Murray of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team said: “Luke was just 19 years old when he was stabbed and killed on his way home.
“His parents have gone through something that no parent should have to go through.
“From the outset, the investigation team has worked tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome. I’m pleased the offender has been served a jail sentence however it will not bring Luke home to his family.”
She added: “Had Shiloh Pottinger not been carrying a knife that night, then Luke would not have died. This case shows very clearly the tragic consequences that come from carrying knives.
“Many other lives have also been ruined – those of family and friends.
“The police are working hard to tackle knife crime, but we need help. We need parents and teachers to challenge the idea that it’s acceptable to carry knives.
“And if you know or suspect a friend of yours is carrying a knife, you need to call out that behaviour.
“I’d now like to speak directly to anyone out there who carries a knife. Please I urge you to put it down before it’s too late. It will cost you your life.”