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Two convicted of murder after schoolboy mistakenly stabbed to death

|News, Violent crime

Two defendants were today convicted of murdering a schoolboy, who was stabbed to death in a case of mistaken identity.

The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found guilty of murder following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

The victim, 16-year-old schoolboy Ronan Kanda, was stabbed to death just metres from his family’s home in Wolverhampton in what was a pre-meditated attack.

On the morning of the murder, one of his attackers was seen on CCTV collecting a large package containing the machetes believed to have been used to stab Ronan to death.

The two males, who were aged 16 at the time of the murder, were driven to Mount Road in Wolverhampton where they rushed out of a vehicle to launch their deadly attack.

Ronan was walking home with his headphones on after meeting with a friend when he was ambushed.

The pair, wearing masks to disguise their faces, approached their victim from behind when one of them stabbed him twice before fleeing the scene. The wounds Ronan inflicted were more than 17cm deep.

Emergency services were called but despite their efforts to save Ronan, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Samantha Dixon, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS West Midlands, said: “This was a horrifying act of violence inflicted upon a young boy who was just a stone’s throw from the safety of his own home.

“The attack itself was an act of cowardice with the defendants approaching the defenceless victim from behind before fleeing the scene as he lay there dying.

“Ronan was an intelligent, popular boy whose life was cruelly taken by the reckless actions of a pair of violent young men.

“Most tragically, there is nothing to suggest Ronan was the intended victim and he was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The defendants wrongly believed they could administer their own twisted brand of justice and get away with it.

“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Ronan’s family and friends who face a life without him due to the senseless actions of the defendants.

“The CPS thanks West Midlands Police for their work in helping to bring these men to justice and will continue to take robust action against violent offenders.”

The prosecution team was able to build a strong case against the teenagers following a thorough investigation by West Midlands Police, using cell-site analysis and ANPR camera activations to pin the defendants to the scene of the attack.

Notes to editors

  • Samantha Dixon is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.
  • Joseph Whittaker (3/10/03) and Josiah Francis (29/01/02) were found not guilty on all counts.

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