Two 14-year-old boys have been found guilty of murdering 13-year-old Oliver Stephens in Berkshire.
A court heard how Oliver, known as Olly, was “lured” to Bugs Bottom field in Reading before being stabbed to death on January 3.
The teenager was convinced to go to the park by a 14-year-old girl, who has previously admitted manslaughter for her part in the killing.
He was then “ambushed” by the two boys before being stabbed by the younger of the two, who was 13 at the time of the attack, Reading Crown Court heard.
The younger boy had previously admitted perverting the course of justice by disposing of clothing worn at the time of the killing, while the older boy admitted the same offence for deleting information from his mobile phone.
A jury found both boys guilty of murder after deliberating for just over 18 hours.
The older boy was further found guilty of perverting the course of justice by disposing of the clothes he wore when the incident took place.
None of the three teenagers can be named for legal reasons.
All three will be sentenced in September.
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The court previously heard how Olly was left with stab wounds to the chest and back after a short scuffle at the scene.
The younger boy used a knife to stab Olly while the older boy was fighting with him, the court was told.
Jurors were told the teenagers had shared hostile messages regarding their victim on Snapchat in the days leading up to Olly’s death.
The girl said in one message: “Karma – he (Olly) deserves all of this”, while the older boy had said: “I actually hate the kid with a passion – if I was to see him right now I’d probably end up killing him.”
Alison Morgan QC, prosecuting, had said Olly was “unknowingly walking into an ambush”.
“[The girl] lured Olly to the location of the attack, in a place called Bugs Bottom, and she lured him to allow the attack to be carried out by the two defendants,” she told the court.
“The defendants were motivated by perceived grievances with Olly.”
An off-duty nurse, who was at the scene, said in a witness statement a number of punches were thrown, although the boys acknowledged that Olly was getting the better of the fight.
Ms Morgan said: “She [the witness] could see blood coming from his chest and heard sucking sounds, which she knew was not a good sound as air was not getting into Olly’s lungs.
“She noticed the shock was setting in and knew he was in cardiac arrest and began CPR on him.”
The court heard the boys “encouraged” others to search local news following the incident.
The older boy messaged a friend: “Me and my boy slapped him up but my boy backed out and f****** shanked him.”
Ms Morgan said: “There was no sign of any regret and no suggestion he was in any way shocked.”
While being questioned, the younger boy said he took a knife to the scene because the older boy told him to and that he expected Olly would have a weapon.
During the fight, he said Olly reached for his own waistband and assumed at that moment he was going to pull out a knife.
The boy said he then pulled a vegetable knife – which he had taken from a bush near his house and put in his sleeve – because he thought the older boy “was going to get stabbed”.
Asked why he did this, the younger boy told the court he wanted to “scare Olly” and that he had aimed at his arm “to stop him from pulling out a knife”.
The older boy had argued he was unaware the other was bringing a knife and was shocked when the younger boy stabbed Olly.
In a statement issued through police after his death, Olly’s family described the youngster as “an enigma” who “could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin”.
They added: “An Olly-sized hole has been left in our hearts.”
Following today’s verdicts, the family said: “Today is a sad day, so many young lives and the lives of their families have been devastated by this callous and cold-hearted act. Knife crime needs to stop. Now.”
It added: “Our boy Olly was born to us at 21.21 on the 1/11/2007, he was taken officially from us at 5pm on 3/01/2021.
“He left our home on that fateful afternoon with love and laughter in his heart, with the hope of a bright fun-filled future ahead of him.
“Within 13 minutes of leaving the safety of his loving home Olly had left us forever.
“Two minutes was all it took to end him and cause us and our family catastrophic heartbreak.”
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