A teenager covered in blood told two strangers who had attacked him before dying on the street – but the names remained anonymous until now.
On May 4, 2021, Reece Tansey was stabbed six times after being attacked near Great Lever Park in Bolton.
The 15-year-old and a friend had been coaxed to meet up with James White, 16, and Mark Nuttall, 15 in the middle of the night, Manchester Evening News reported.
But when Reece’s friend decided not to go to the meet, the teenager was left to turn up at the spot alone.
He was unarmed and outnumbered.
White and Nuttall, who had crept out of their family homes, stabbed the teenager before fleeing the scene.
A short while later two men spotted a teenager staggering in the middle of the street.
Covered in blood and quickly dropping in and out of consciousness, he used his final breath to tell the complete strangers the names of the two teenagers who had brutally stabbed him just moments earlier.
The clue would prove crucial in the conviction of White and Nuttall.
White would go on to post a video of himself carrying a knife covered in blood on Snapchat, accompanied by the word “muppet”.
He later sent a message to Nuttall, which read: “I thought it only went through his coat so I kept doing it.”
He added: “He’s dead now.”
Nuttall responded with a laughing emoji.
They were arrested a short while later.
The shocking details of his murder were brought to light in a gruelling trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The court was told how friends White and Nuttall were fuelled by the bravado of social media and liked “pretending they were gangsters”.
Throughout a police investigation and subsequent trial and sentencing, both White and Nuttall were protected by stringent reporting restrictions.
Only able to be identified as Boy A and Boy B, their sinister crimes were shielded to a degree by their anonymity – until last week.
Following an application by both the Manchester Evening News and The Bolton News, Justice Farbey agreed to lift an order made under s45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act restricting the reporting of their identity.
For the first time, the country was informed that both White, found guilty of Reece’s murder and jailed for 15 years, and Nuttall, found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six years imprisonment, had been responsible for the death of Reece.
Reece’s dad Ian Nice, 47, said his son would have wanted his killers’ names to be revealed and that this unveiling comes as a bit of a relief after months of torment.
“It would have been hard for Reece that they weren’t named,” Ian explained.
“Now he’s got closure. It was also hard because we couldn’t put anything on social media. We couldn’t put the names out there, but now it’s a relief.
“I know that Reece wanted to carry that on, with them being named. Reece’s last words before he died were the names of the lads.”
He added: “He wasn’t just my son, he was my best friend, and I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye and hold his hand and say: “I love you, son.”
Ian, who works in traffic management, said that he last spoke to Reece in the hours before his death.
He’d asked Reece – who he described as his ‘best friend’ – to visit him for a takeaway and says he will never stop thinking about what could have happened if he had come over instead of hanging out with his friends.
“I’d rung him between 9:30pm and 10:00pm,” he explained.
“He used to always come by to chill on the PS4 and have a takeaway night. That’s the bond that we had – he was my best mate.
“Reece had said, “Dad, stopping f*cking pecking my head. I’m with my friends!” so I said: “Alright then son, I’ll leave you with your friends.”
“I said: “I love you, son, I love you.” That was it.
“I’m so annoyed he didn’t come to mine that night – I blame myself. But I couldn’t push Reece, I couldn’t force him to come to mine.”
Ian said he was heartbroken that he couldn’t be with Reece during his final moments.
He said: “I brought him into the world. I held him in my hands when he was born, and I cut the cord. And not me being there on his last moments in life, that hurts me.
“But I’m so proud of him. If I had been stabbed several times, I’m sure I would have fallen to the floor and that would be it.
“He knocked on someone’s door crying for help, and they held his hand – they were with him until he died.
“I thanked the people dearly for what they did for my son and spoke to them.
He added: “If I could have one more hour with and a brew and a takeaway, I’d just say ‘I love you, and you go on and live your life up there, and dad will always be here and do things for your name, and you name will live on.’”
But Ian said his battle for justice is far from over.
Reece’s family plan to appeal the length of Nuttall’s jail sentence, with Ian arguing that the sentences handed to White and Nuttall won’t do enough to deter children from carrying knives in the future.
He said: “There has to be a law and tougher sentences for knife crime because there are kids killing kids.
“The Government are not doing anything about knife crime.”