‘Merciless’ killer who knifed stranger in heart jailed

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

LONDON: A teenage killer who walked into a house and stabbed a stranger in the heart in a “chilling” attack has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years. Daniel Rounce was ordered to remain in handcuffs in the dock at Leicester Crown Court as a judge described the inexplicable and “merciless” killing of 79-year-old Gerald Wickes as a “truly wicked” offence. Rounce, of The Green, Markfield, near Leicester, was found guilty by a jury on Monday after offering no account of how and why he killed Mr Wickes at the pensioner’s former partner’s house.

The 18-year-old claimed through his barrister at his sentencing hearing that he had acted out of panic while intending to rob Mr Wickes, after following the victim’s former partner into the house in Queens Park Way, Eyres Monsell, on February 22 last year.

Five dock officers flanked Rounce as he was sentenced, after previous episodes of violence involving the teenager, who kicked out at security staff and had to be restrained on the first day of his trial.

Passing sentence, Judge Timothy Spencer KC said the murder was aggravated by significant levels of planning and premeditation, and the fact that an elderly victim had been targeted in what should have been a safe place. The judge told Rounce that he believed he had feigned mental illness in an effort to manipulate the justice system.

Judge Spencer told the teenager: “This killing took place in the living room of what in effect was his own home – a home that was invaded and violated by you. “This was a truly wicked act. “You were, in my judgment, deliberately targeting the elderly.”