Mother of murdered teen Liam Gray, 18, emotionally recalls last words

‘My heart just shattered:’ Mother of murdered teen Liam Gray, 18, who was stabbed over a ‘silly’ social media argument in front of his grandfather by friend he ‘took under his wing’ recalls telling her son ‘I love you’ in final words before he died

  • Jonathan Treadgold, 18, stabbed Liam Gray, 18, in the heart on August 1 2019 
  • His grandfather witnessed the assault and called 999 but he died in hospital 
  • His mother Joanne Peters recalled heartbreaking last words to her son 

The mother of murdered teenager Liam Gray has emotionally recalled the last words that she said to her son as he was transported to hospital after being fatally stabbed by his friend Jonathan Treadgold over a petty Snapchat argument.

In new documentary Britain’s Deadliest Kids, which airs on discovery+, Joanne Peters speaks of how her ‘heart shattered’ following the loss of her son Liam Gray, 18, who was knifed to death by his friend Jonathan Treadgold, also 18, at a house in Mansfield, Nottingham on August 1, 2019.

His grandfather witnessed the stabbing and desperately tried to save him before paramedics arrived.  

‘I managed to say, you know, “I love you,”‘ says an emotional Joanne, remembering the moment her son was loaded into the ambulance. ‘I just hope he heard me, because that was the last thing that I managed to say to him while he was still alive.’ 

Joanne – the mother of murdered teenager Liam Gray – has emotionally recalled the last words that she said to her son as he was transported to hospital after being fatally stabbed by his friend Jonathan Treadgold over a petty social media argument


Jonathan Treadgold (mugshot right) stabbed his friend Liam Gray (left) to death in Mansfield, Nottingham on August 1 2019

But despite the best efforts of hospital staff, Liam died from his injuries, aged just 18-years-old. 

‘I just remember a doctor walking in with two nurses and I knew then from the look on the doctor’s face that Liam had passed,’ Liam’s sister Paige recalls. 

Joanne adds: ‘They didn’t even have to say anything, I just knew, and I think I said to them, “he’s gone, hasn’t he?” My heart just shattered.’

In custody, Treadgold claimed that Liam had been bullying him for years, but an intense police investigation uncovered the truth – he had killed his friend in cold blood. 

After deliberations, the jury unanimously found Jonathan Treadgold guilty of Liam’s murder, sentencing him to life with a minimum term of 16 years. 

Growing up in the Nottinghamshire town of Mansfield, Liam was a popular young man with a bright outlook on life.  

Liam’s sister Paige (pictured) recalls how she remembers a doctor walking in with two nurses and says she ‘knew then from the look on the doctor’s face that Liam had passed’

Liam’s sister Madison Peters (pictured) recalls getting a phone call from her mum and says: ‘I knew what she was going to say’ 

‘That was Liam’s character, happy-go-lucky,’ his mum, Joanne Peters, explains.

Notably, Liam shared a strong bond with his best friend Reece. 

‘They were like brothers, they were inseparable, they were together nearly all day every day,’ Paige Peters, Liam’s sister, says. 

But in stark contrast to the loving upbringing that Liam enjoyed during his short life, local teenager Jonathan Treadgold had a troubled upbringing marked by stints in care. 

As a result, Treadgold started getting into trouble with the police from a young age. 

‘I think Liam thought he could solve some of his problems by being his friend and taking him under his wing,’ says Joanne. ‘I wasn’t really happy about Liam being around him, I just sensed something about him that I couldn’t put my finger on.’

But on 1st August 2019, after a day of celebratory drinking as Liam prepared to start his new life in Birmingham, tensions between Liam and Treadgold came to a head over a text message from the boyfriend of Treadgold’s sister referring to a social media video. 

‘Treadgold shares that text with Reece and Liam, and Liam makes some comment that he would “sort Treadgold’s sister’s boyfriend out,” criminologist Professor David Wilson explains. 

With a stab wound to the heart, Liam (pictured) lay on the floor bleeding to death while an ambulance crew rushed to his aid.

Admitting to the killing in his police interview, Treadgold suggested that Liam (pictured) was a violent bully and that he acted in self-defence

‘John [Treadgold] got right mad about it,’ Liam’s friend Reece adds. 

Flying off the handle, Treadgold and Liam argued, before Treadgold stormed off back to Liam’s grandad’s house. Catching up with Treadgold at the house, Liam was suddenly and viciously attacked with a kitchen knife. 

Waiting outside, it wasn’t immediately clear to Reece what had happened. While Treadgold fled the scene, Reece rushed into the house to tend to his friend. 

‘I’ve gone in and Liam’s stood there with a handful of tea towels and stuck them to his chest,’ he says. 

Frantically, Liam’s grandfather called for an ambulance as his grandson’s condition quickly deteriorated. 

‘He was holding his chest and he fell to the floor,’ Reece recalls. ‘Pops was putting pressure onto him where he’d been stabbed.’ 

With a stab wound to the heart, Liam lay on the floor bleeding to death while an ambulance crew rushed to his aid. Seen by numerous witnesses fleeing the scene, Treadgold was quickly apprehended by the police. 

The arrest was captured on an officer’s bodycam, where a clearly distressed Treadgold tells police that Liam had actually tried to stab him. 

Seen by numerous witnesses fleeing the scene, Treadgold was quickly apprehended by the police (pictured)  

Admitting to the killing in his police interview, Treadgold suggested that Liam was a violent bully and that he acted in self-defence. 

‘He said that Liam was responsible for assaulting him in the past and he’s gotten injuries that could substantiate that as well,’ Superintendent Kevin Broadhead of Nottinghamshire Police reveals. 

However, CCTV footage and other evidence suggested otherwise, and Treadgold was charged with Liam’s murder.

In February 2020, Treadgold stood trial for the murder of his friend Liam Gray. For Joanne, it was yet another stressful part of an already horrific ordeal. 

‘I was terrified that he was going to get away with it,’ she says. ‘When the police told us that he was going to be tried as a child – so he could only get 12 years – that honestly really upset me. I was broken. He would still be a young man when he comes out of prison, and my son’s not here anymore.’ 

During proceedings, Treadgold’s behaviour was disruptive and he refused to take the stand. 

‘He refused to speak, he wouldn’t give an explanation as to why he’d done it,’ Joanne explains. 

Paige adds: ‘He thought he was going to get away with it. You could see on his face that he wasn’t sorry at all.’

Despite the jury unanimously finding Jonathan Treadgold guilty of Liam’s murder, for Liam’s family, the pain of his death remains.

‘We’ve been robbed of seeing our son, brother, father grow up and do all the things he wanted to do,’ Joanne says. ‘We’ve been robbed of that, over a silly argument over a video.’ 

Britain’s Deadliest Kids is available to stream now as a boxset on discovery+, with episodes also airing weekly on Quest Red

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