Detectives have charged a child with the murder of a ‘much-loved’ and ‘charismatic’ 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death near a popular beauty spot.
Tomasz Oleszak, 14, was knifed in Aycliffe Crescent area of the Springwell Estate in Gateshead on Monday evening.
The popular youngster died of his injuries early on Tuesday morning, with his death sending shockwaves across the local community.
Northumbria Police has now charged a 14-year-old boy with Tomasz’s murder. The child, who can’t be named, has also been charged with attempted wounding and possession of a bladed article.
He was due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Tomasz Oleszak, 14, died in hospital after being found with a stab wound in the Aycliffe Crescent area of the Springwell Estate of Gateshead on Monday evening
Detectives have charged a 14-year-old boy with murder, while a 13-year-old girl has been released on bail. Pictured are police search teams at the Whitehill Nature Park on Thursday
Tomasz’s death left the community of Gateshead in shock, with scores of people paying tribute to the popular and talented footballer. Pictured is a letter left in the Aycliffe Crescent area on Thursday
Chief Superintendent Helena Barron, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘This is a tragic incident which has left a family utterly devastated.
‘Our thoughts very much continue to be with Tomasz’s loved ones and we will support them in every way we can. We would also ask that their privacy is respected at this time.
‘We have now charged a teenager with murder and there is still an on-going investigation so we continue to appeal to the public for information.’
Tomasz had moved to the UK from Poland ‘for a better life’ as a ‘shy’ six-year-old.
But the schoolboy died in the early hours of Tuesday morning after being knifed in the Aycliffe Crescent area of the Springwell Estate just after 8pm on Monday.
He was taken to hospital where, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he later died. His devastated family are being supported by specially-trained officers.
Two teenagers were arrested following an investigation by police. The second person, a 13-year-old girl, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been bailed.
Floral tributes have been left throughout the day as the community comes to terms with the 14-year-old’s murder
Search teams, pictured scouring the Whitehills Nature Park in Gateshead, have been hunting for clues for the past four days
Tomasz attended Cardinal Hume Catholic School, in Gateshead. In a statement on Friday, headteacher Brendan Robson, said: ‘As a much-loved and treasured pupil, Tomasz was a dedicated and committed young man who was the life and soul of his friendship group.
‘Tomasz was charismatic and engaging, always displaying a great sense of humour.
‘He was a loyal friend who others could turn to. As a talented footballer and wonderful team player he has been described by his friends as “someone you’d always want to have on your team”.
‘The staff will remember his warmth, energy and positive personality. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.’
Tomasz, who lived with his mum Kamila Wisniewska and his young brother, had called the Springwell estate home for most of his life and was described as a ‘friend to so many’ by those who knew him.
His family moved from Wroclaw in southwestern Poland and his mum found work at a local biscuit factory as the family became a well-liked part of the Springwell community.
Mounted police patrol the scene on Aycliffe Crescent, Gateshead, where 14-year-old Tomasz Oleszak was fatally attacked on Monday evening
The scene at Aycliffe Crescent, Gateshead, on Tuesday following the fatal attack the night before
Tomasz was a keen footballer and played for the local Cleveland Hall junior football team as a midfielder in the under-15s squad.
Bob Boustead, chairman of club, said the youngster’s death has ‘shattered the whole community’.
Mr Boustead said: ‘We are devastated by what’s happened to him, he came to this country with his parents and family for a better life and he lost it like this to a quite hideous crime.’
The teen’s coach, Paul Howson, set up a Gofundme page to help the family, raising almost £20,500 by 9.30am on Friday.
Paul paid tribute to Tomasz describing Tomasz as a ‘very kind, caring young man’.
‘He was a much-loved member of his local community and will be sadly missed by all who loved him,’ he added.
‘This is every parent’s worst nightmare come true and we can’t imagine what they are going through.’
News of the teenager’s death rocked the local community, with horrified residents coming out in their droves to lay floral tributes at Whitehills Nature Par in Tomasz’s memory.
Emergency crews were called to the Aycliffe Crescent area of the Springwell Estate just after 8pm on Monday, where they found the teenage boy suffering from a stab injury
The boy was taken to hospital where, despite the best efforts of medics, he later died in the early hours of Tuesday morning
An investigation is underway at Whitehills Nature park in Gateshead following the incident on Monday
Schoolfriends and members of the public left bouquets of flowers on the outside gates of the park on the Springwell Estate in a moving display of grief as the Gateshead community comes to terms with its tragic loss.
One person also paid tribute by saying that the teenager had ‘gone too soon’.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: ‘It’s devastating that our region has lost another young person to serious violence and my thoughts are with the victim’s family who will be experiencing unimaginable pain.
‘This should never have happened and it now sits with our police to carry out extensive enquiries to establish the full circumstances that have led to the senseless loss of a young life.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20221003-0995.
The CPS has asked people not report, comment or share information online which could prejudice any future court case.