Teen guilty of murdering Alfie Lewis in Leeds

Alfie Lewis died after being stabbed through the heart. Credit: Family handout

A 15-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering teenager Alfie Lewis in Leeds.

The boy showed no emotion as the verdict was read out at Leeds Crown Court after a two week trial.

Alfie, who was 15, was stabbed in the street in front of pupils, parents and teachers from two schools which were finishing for the day in the Horsforth area of the city on 7 November last year.

As the verdict was delivered, friends and family of Alfie in the public gallery wept and shouted "yes".

Many have been in court throughout the trial wearing T-shirts in Alfie's favourite colour, orange, some bearing his photograph.

The trial heard how the defendant, who was 14 at the time of the attack and can not be named because of his age, stabbed Alfie through the heart at the junction of Church Road and Church Lane as Alfie went to meet friends after school.

He then ran home and was arrested a short time later. He had admitted possessing a knife but denied murder.

Forensic examinations taking place at the scene

He claimed he was scared of Alfie following a number of previous incidents and had acted in self-defence, but the jury convicted him of murder after around nine hours of deliberations.

The trial has been conducted by barristers not wearing formal robes and wigs because of the age of the defendant.

Witnesses included several children. The youngest to give evidence was 12 years-old.

Speaking outside court after the verdict, Alfie's brother Antony Lewis thanked witnesses who tried to help Alfie at the scene of the attack. He also paid tribute to everyone involved in the investigation and successful prosecution.

He added: "The only justice we would want is for Alfie to come home, to his mum and brother, and to us.

Alfie's brother Antony Lewis speaks outside court. Credit: ITV News

"Most of all we would like to say thank you to our Alfie, for giving us all your love, joy, and humour and making us smile every day in the 15 years we had to enjoy and love you.

"You are always in our hearts and our minds, and until we are all together again keep dancing in the sky our beautiful boy. We miss you and we love you, always."

Senior investigator Det Ch Insp Stacey Atkinson said Alfie was not involved in "gangs or any other criminality that could have put him at risk of knife crime".

"He had simply gone to meet his friends from school and was not looking for a confrontation with anyone," she said.

She said the killer had "planned and prepared" the attack, taking a kitchen knife from home and waiting until the end of the school day.

Det Ch Insp Stacey Atkinson said Alfie was not involved in gang crime. Credit: ITV News

She added: "He claimed that he had acted in self-defence, but the evidence from multiple eyewitnesses has shown that he was the aggressor who launched a deliberate and determined attack repeatedly stabbing Alfie, who was completely defenceless, leaving him fatally wounded.

"We have heard evidence of previous incidents involving Alfie and the youth but these were very minor in nature. Clearly there is nothing that could justify the murderous violence he used to end Alfie’s young life.

“Alfie’s murder occurred in a busy street at school home time and was witnessed by several children and passing members of the public. Understandably, it caused a huge amount of shock and concern in the local community.

“It is a tragedy that illustrates the appalling consequences of knife crime, and we can only hope it will hit home to young people that it can never be right to carry a knife or use violence to settle your differences.”

Sentencing will take place on 21 June.

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