Wolverhampton teen guilty of killing schoolboy Zane Smart in knife fight arranged on social media

Zane Smart (pictured left) was fatally knifed in the chest in Wolverhampton Credit: BPM Media

A 17-year-old boy who stabbed a teenager with a vegetable knife during an after-school fight arranged on social media has been found guilty of manslaughter.

The juvenile defendant, who cannot be named due to his age, was on trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court charged with murder. 

Zane Smart, 15, was fatally knifed in the chest near the Shropshire Union Canal in Pendeford, Wolverhampton, on May 27 last year.

Passersby battled to save Zane's life after being flagged down by shocked teenagers, one of whom was described as 'trembling'. 

Medics, including an air ambulance crew, delivered critical care at the scene, near Reapers Walk, but Zane died from a single stab wound to the chest.

Tension between Zane and his killer had been growing for months before the pair arranged to fight each other, the trial heard.

Today, the youth, who was 16 at the time, was unanimously found guilty of manslaughter by a jury.

He had previously denied having an article with a blade or a point but changed his plea and admitted this charge part-way through the trial.

The youths are both said to have armed themselves with a knife and initially met outside Pendeford Fish Bar. Zane had arrived on his bike by 3:44pm before the boys moved to an area near the Shropshire Union Canal.

Zane got back on his bike following the fight but collapsed shortly afterwards. Witnesses told the court they found him lying face down in a bush.

He suffered a single stab wound to his chest, which lead to internal bleeding, pierced his lung, caused damage to the protective sac surrounding the heart, and damaged his main artery. 

Other injuries were consistent with Zane falling from his bike after he had been injured, a forensic pathologist said.

The court heard how Zane did cause minor injuries to the defendant during the incident.

The defendant gave evidence during his trial, claiming he 'lashed out' during the fight because Zane was wielding a Samurai sword.

He told jurors he stabbed Zane 'to protect himself' after being left 'frightened' at the sight of the large blade.

The defendant, who now faces years behind bars, will be sentenced later.