Baby-faced teen jailed for manslaughter of Frankie Cooper

30 Apr 2018 09:30 AM

Fabio Serrano [View Full Size]

A teenager has been jailed for killing a man who he stabbed in the heart in broad daylight in the middle of Newcastle.

Fabio Serrano was only 16-years-old when he attacked Frankie Cooper in Princess Square just off Northumberland Street.

He was with a group of friends when he saw 22-year-old Frankie by chance and a confrontation between the pair ensued.

Following a heated argument, which took place in the middle of the day in a busy area of Newcastle, Frankie threw a punch at Serrano but failed to connect.

The teenager, who had his face covered with a bandana, then pulled out a knife and stabbed his victim in the heart.

Frankie fled the scene clutching his chest but a short time later collapsed as he made his way back to his flat in Bewick Court.

Paramedics tried desperately to save his life and managed to keep him alive before he was admitted to hospital.

He was placed in an induced coma but doctors were unable to save him and he died five days after the attack.

Serrano was cleared of murder but convicted of the manslaughter following a trial and now he has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of five years.

Following the case, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Paul Waugh said Serrano was a "dangerous individual" and deserved to be jailed for life.

He said: “Frankie Cooper was a young man who was stabbed in the heart in the middle of Newcastle city centre.

“Fabio Serrano was only 16-years-old when he committed this offence but he is a dangerous individual and the judge has quite rightly lifted reporting restrictions so he can be named.

“Throughout interview he has shown no remorse, refused to take responsibility for his actions and lied to both police and a jury about exactly what he did that day.

“He saw no problem with carrying a knife in the street and this incident showed he was not afraid to use it in a confrontation.

“Newcastle has a reputation as one of the safest cities in the country but a knife in the wrong hands can have devastating consequences in just a split second.

“We will continue to put those who carry knives before the courts and this case shows that anyone who uses one will spend a significant amount of time behind bars

“Now this case has concluded I want to take time to thank all the witnesses who came forward and I also want to praise the family of Frankie Cooper for the courage they have shown throughout this case.”

Following the case, the family of Frankie Cooper paid tribute to the emergency services who responded to the report of the stabbing but said they were disappointed not to get a murder conviction.

They said: "This has been a very difficult time for us and our family will never be the same again now that Frankie is no longer with us.

"He was still just a boy and to lose him in this way was devastating for us. He had his whole life ahead of him and was such a cheeky and smiley lad.

"When we heard what had happened to him we did not know what to do but the response of the emergency services helped us get through it.

"The medical teams who tended to Frankie did everything they possibly could and the police have been very supportive throughout this entire case.

"We were relieved when the detectives investigating the case were able to bring murder charges against the boy who killed Frankie.

"The fact that he has only been convicted of manslaughter does hurt us. He stabbed Frankie in the heart and there is no doubt in our minds that he should be going to jail for murder.

"He may not have received the kind of sentence we wanted but he will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. We hope Frankie's death haunts him as much as it haunts our family."

Serrano stood trial alongside co-accused Dairan Browne, 19, who was with the teenager when the attack took place on February 20 last year.

They were both accused of murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent and unlawful wounding. Browne was cleared of murder and manslaughter but admitted unlawful wounding with intent.

Browne was handed a 16 months sentence suspended for 24 months for the charge of unlawful wounding.