Spotify star who stabbed student, 19, to death with ‘Mafia stiletto’ knife is jailed for

A Spotify star who stabbed a student to death after he was mocked for his skateboarding skills has been jailed for 15 years. 

Shiloh Pottinger fatally wounded 19-year-old Luke O’Connor when he stabbed him with a 13-inch ‘Mafia stiletto’ knife in Manchester in October 2022. 

The 20-year-old had claimed he was acting in self-defence, when he attacked Mr O’Connor and one of the victim’s friends as they walked home from a house party in the city.

CCTV footage of the incident showed Pottinger repeatedly stabbing his Mr O’Connor after hitting him over the head with his skateboard when the victims asked him to do a trick on it. 

The son of a rapper, who is an aspiring up-and-coming musician himself, was found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Manchester Crown Court last month.

Shiloh Pottinger (pictured) has been jailed for 15 years for stabbing a student to death in Manchester

Shiloh Pottinger (pictured) has been jailed for 15 years for stabbing a student to death in Manchester

Luke O'Connor (pictured) was stabbed repeatedly by Pottinger in a fight as he walked home from a house party

Luke O’Connor (pictured) was stabbed repeatedly by Pottinger in a fight as he walked home from a house party

Today he returned to court where he was jailed for 15 years for killing the student who was described as a ‘gentle giant’ by his heartbroken family.

He was told by Judge Nicholas Dean KC he would have been sentenced to 18 years, but this had been reduced for his youth, immaturity and previous good character.

Speaking outside court today, Jason O’Connor, Luke’s father, said praised the medics who worked ‘endlessly’ to try and save the life of the second-year business management student.

‘Luke was our beautiful youngest son and also a wonderful little brother,’ he said. 

‘He was without doubt the glue in our family that we can never replace, and we’re all very proud of him at how he conducted his life. 

‘All our lives now feel empty without Luke. Luke was an extremely considerate, loving and generous, and we all enjoyed spending lots of time with him. Luke had a truly infectious love of life with many ambitions and hopes which unfortunately he did not get to fulfil. 

‘He did not get to fulfil these hopes and ambitions because his life was snatched away from him by a coward using a knife – Shiloh Pottinger – who has shown no remorse.

‘Luke was killed by eight knife wounds to the body in a random attack following a flippant skateboard comment. How many more parents, families and friends have to go through the pain and heartache that knife crime brings?

‘The sentence issued today does not reflect the magnitude of the crime or the loss of Luke’s life. As we have seen from Luke’s death and only this week, knife crime is becoming more and more of a common occurrence. 

‘As a society we need to find a way to control the access to knives and to push for changes to the law and especially the sentencing around knife crime.’

Pottinger, who has had one of his tracks on streaming platform Spotify listened to more than half a million times, will be eligible for parole in 10 years after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Another track features the lyric: ‘Mummy said when I was younger I should never play with knives.’

The court previous heard a row had broken out between the pair as Mr O’Connor, from Bedfordshire, walked home from a house party with two friends in the heart of Manchester’s student area.

One of them, Charles Robertson, walked past Pottinger, who was holding a skateboard, and asked him if he could ‘do a kick-flick’, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mark Ford KC, prosecuting, claimed it was ‘intended as a silly and light-hearted comment’.

But Pottinger, himself a music student who has released tracks under the name OSU, ‘did not take it well’ and reacted in an ‘violent and unpredictable’ manner.

He first attacked Mr O’Connor by hitting him on the head with his skateboard before it flew out of his hand when he tried a second strike.

CCTV footage, played to the jury, showed Pottinger threatening Mr O’Connor with the flick-knife and the pair pushing each other.

There was a scuffle, with Mr O’Connor punching Pottinger and holding on to him, but as he did so he was repeatedly stabbed to the body.

As they grappled, Pottinger fell to the ground, dropping the knife as he did so.

But ‘it was too late’, the jury heard, as Mr O’Connor had already sustained fatal injuries.

Distressing footage played in court showed him collapsing on the road covered in blood.

Mr O’Connor was rushed to hospital in cardiac arrest but was pronounced dead at 4.51am.

The jury heard wounds included incisions to his aorta, a kidney had almost been split in two, and one lung had collapsed.

Pottinger fled the scene of the attack and disposed of his skateboard and jacket and washed his clothes in an attempt to avoid detection, the prosecution claimed, but he was arrested two days later.

The bloody knife, which he’d purchased from the internet, was later recovered by police.

After the attack, Pottinger carried out several searches online, including ‘How long do you serve for killing someone?’ and ‘How much time do you get for knife murder?’

But he denied murdering Mr O’Connor and the jury found him not guilty after 13-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

Instead, they found Pottinger, who sobbed in the dock along with members of his family in the public gallery, guilty of manslaughter by a 10-2 majority.

The jury heard that Pottinger didn’t have any intention of using the knife and had acted in self-defence.

He said he wanted to show Mr O’Connor and his friend that he had knife as a ‘last scare tactic’ because he feared they would ‘gang up’ on him.

He also claimed the knife was used for applying tape to his skateboard and hadn’t intended to take it out with him that night.

Pottinger’s barrister Siobhan Grey KC claimed that Mr O’Connor, who was 6ft 2in tall, was ‘towering over’ the defendant and was ‘up for a fight’.

But Mr Ford described Pottinger’s story as a ‘pack of lies’ and a ‘desperate attempt’ to ‘escape the consequences of what he did’.

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