Shropshire Star

Teenager guilty of killing 15-year-old in pre-arranged fight by Wolverhampton canal

A teenager has been found guilty of killing a 15-year-old who was fatally stabbed in Wolverhampton.

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Zane Smart

Zane Smart was wounded in the chest after he and another youth went to a canal-side for a pre-arranged fight on May 27 last year, in the Pendeford area of the city.

The youth – who was 16 at the time and is now 17 – was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday, after seven hours and 29 minutes of deliberation.

The court heard there had been "some tension" between Zane and the boy before they took different routes from a car park near a chip shop to an area beside the Shropshire Union Canal.


The pair had been involved in a dispute four months before the fatal incident and met up once again after the defendant became "cross" the 15-year-old was riding a bike in the area, the court heard.

Both of the teenagers had come to the meeting armed, with the 15-year-old victim pulling out what was described as being a "samurai sword" during the altercation, a judge was told.

The defendant said he became "scared" upon seeing the weapon, with his glasses falling off – leaving him with blurred vision – and a knife falling from his pocket which he used.

When asked if he meant to deliver the fatal blow to Zane, the boy replied "no" but said he remembered it and recalled the knife connecting with the victim.

The 15-year-old collapsed a short distance away after sustaining a wound to the chest, which he subsequently died from.

Members of the public, went to the alleged victim’s aid after he was seen falling off his bicycle, but despite theirs and the efforts of emergency services he was pronounced dead at about 4.52pm.

Home Office pathologist Brett Lockyer told the jury that the medical cause of death was a stab wound to the chest. He explained the injury to Zane’s right lung would have resulted in the schoolboy bleeding out, falling into shock, deep unconsciousness then cardiac arrest.

The teenage killer had also denied having an article with a blade or a point, but changed his plea to guilty during the trial.

The defendant, who cannot be named due to his age, will be sentenced in April.

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