Youth convicted of manslaughter of 15-year-old boy
A youth has been convicted of manslaughter after he fatally stabbed a 15-year-old boy.
The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty today (22 February 2023) by a jury following a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court of the manslaughter of Zane Smart following a fight. He was acquitted of the murder charge.
On 27 May 2022, the defendant encountered Zane along a canal towpath known as Reapers Walk in Pendeford, Wolverhampton.
During an altercation, Zane was stabbed in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene.
During the trial, the teenager claimed that he was acting in self-defence when he inflicted the fatal wound with a knife he was carrying. However, the jury rejected this defence, and he was convicted of manslaughter. He had previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a knife in public.
Lorraine Anson of the CPS said: “My thoughts are with Zane’s family at this difficult time and my heartfelt condolences go out to them for the terrible loss they have suffered. This is yet again another unnecessary and senseless incident involving youths carrying knives. The verdict serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences that can result from carrying weapons and the importance of discouraging such behaviour to protect the safety of our communities. The witnesses who bravely came forward and gave evidence at trial provided invaluable assistance that has helped to achieve justice for Zane.”
The defendant will be sentenced on 17 April 2023.
Notes to editors
- Lorraine Anson is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.