This week 30 years ago: Man on trial for stabbing Tony McGrane to death

Islington Gazette: May 22, 1987

Islington Gazette: May 22, 1987 - Credit: Archant

A distraught mum swore revenge on her son’s alleged killer in an Old Bailey courtroom, shouting: “I’m going to kill you for murdering my boy. You’re as good as dead.”

Kathleen McGrane made the threat after describing the moment she identified the slaughtered body of 13-year-old son Tony.

The court heard how Tony was stabbed 25 times in October 1986. It happened in a garage near his home in Cyrus House, Cyrus Street, Finsbury.

Gary Whelan, 19, of Woodbridge Street, Finsbury, pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Prosecutor Allan Green told the court how Tony and Whelan were friends. They and another pal had been “mucking about” on motorbikes. When the third boy went home, Tony and Whelan went back to Cyrus House.


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Two neighbours spotted Tony in a courtyard below at about 1am. They were the last people to see him alive. Later that morning, his body was found by labourer Stephen Harris.

Whelan was eventually convicted of manslaughter and jailed for six years.

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