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  1. ITV Report

Northampton teen who stabbed Louis-Ryan Menezes after Facebook row convicted of manslaughter

Amari Smith (left) stabbed Louis-Ryan Menezes (right) following a row about comments made on social media. Credit: Northamptonshire Police/Family photo

A teenager who stabbed a 17-year-old boy through the heart in Northampton has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Louis-Ryan Menezes was stabbed to death in the stairwell of Drayton Walk, in the Kingsthorpe area of the town, in May 2018.

One witness reported that Amari Smith, 18, used a hunting-style knife to stab Louis once in the chest following a row about comments made on Facebook.

The force of the blow pierced Louis' heart and he died in Northampton General Hospital soon after.

Smith had placed the knife in his coat pocket before leaving his house on the day of the killing.

The jury rejected his claim to self-defence, but accepted that the defendant had not intended to kill or cause really serious harm.

The stabbing happened in Drayton Walk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

“This was a tragic case involving the loss of a very young life and the investigation has been a complex one, all the more painstaking because the victim and the main witnesses were just children at the time of the incident," Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Stuart Hitchon said.

“I’m pleased justice has been done today and I hope it brings some closure for Louis’ family who have tragically lost a son, brother and grandson far too soon and I again offer them my heartfelt condolences.

“Louis’ untimely death sadly demonstrates what can be the tragic consequences of carrying a knife. This force will continue to work relentlessly to remove these potentially deadly weapons from our streets."

Police carried out house to house inquiries in the area following the stabbing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a statement released after the verdict, Louis' family said his death had left a "huge gap in their lives."

“Louis was a young man with his whole life ahead of him. He was a popular, caring son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin whose life was cruelly cut short. He is so sadly missed by all his family and friends," the statement read.

“Louis’ death has left a huge gap in our lives and the pain of losing him is so great it will never go away.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Kingsthorpe community for their immense support and kindness, the emergency services for their help and efforts on the afternoon Louis died and, last but not least, family and friends for their love, support and loyalty. Without this, the last few months would have been unbearable.

“We’d also like to thank the detectives, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts for their tireless work in getting justice for Louis and for us.”

Smith is due to be sentenced in three weeks' time.