Teenager found to have fatally stabbed 79-year-old man
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A teenager who walked into a house and fatally stabbed a 79-year-old man has been found to have committed the act.
Daniel Rounce, 18, had initially fled the scene after stabbing Gerald Wickes at a house in Queens Park Way, Leicester, on the afternoon of 22 February this year.
But following a police search, he was found later that evening in the Aylestone Road area by officers where he was arrested and later charged with the murder of Mr Wickes.
Following medical assessment, it was found that Rounce was not fit to stand trial for murder by reason of his mental health. A trial of the facts has therefore been held at Leicester Crown Court – in a trial of the facts, a jury is not asked to return a verdict of guilty or not guilty but is instead asked to determine whether or not the defendant committed the act they are accused of.
Today (Friday), it was found that Rounce had committed the act of fatally stabbing Mr Wickes. He was also found to have committed the act of being in possession of an offensive weapon. He was not found to have committed the act of assaulting an emergency worker at the time of his arrest.
Rounce has been remanded into custody. A further hearing is due to take place on 9 February 2024 following preparation of reports.
Mr Wickes had been at his former partner’s house in Queens Park Way on the afternoon of 22 February this year, when Rounce, who was unknown to them, had entered the house.
Mr Wickes and his former partner questioned Rounce, who was 17-years-old at the time of the offence, and asked him what he wanted. But Rounce then pulled a knife from his jacket pocket and lunged at Mr Wickes stabbing him in the chest, before then leaving the property.
Police and the East Midlands Ambulance Service were called to the address. Sadly, Mr Wickes was pronounced deceased at 5.21pm.
A murder investigation was launched with initial enquiries showing Rounce had been in a wooded area near the house prior to going into the address. CCTV enquiries also showed him running away from the area after. A search of the wooded area nearby led to a knife being recovered as well as two rucksacks which were later identified as belonging to the teenager.
A search for Rounce continued into the evening leading to a police officer spotting him in the Aylestone Road area of Leicester at around 11.15pm. He was subsequently arrested and following further enquiries was charged two days later with the murder of Mr Wickes.
Following the outcome today, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector David Greenhalgh, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “This was a devastating incident which resulted in a 79-year-old man losing his life in a horrendous way because of the actions of a teenager who was unknown to him.
“We will never fully know why this happened and my thoughts very much remain today with Mr Wickes’ family. They have lost a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather and today’s outcome does not make things any easier or bring their loved one back. I thank them for their support and the co-operation they have shown during this extremely difficult time.
“I would also like to thank all the officers who responded to the incident, and who have assisted with the investigation since, for their dedication and professionalism throughout. Thank you.”
"One of life's helpers" - the family of Gerald Wickes pay tribute -