Two 14-year-old boys found guilty of murdering teenage boy from Reading

  • Watch the full report by ITV Meridian's Juliette Fletcher

Two 14-year-old boys have been found guilty of murdering a teenage boy in Reading.

Oliver Stephens, known as Olly, was killed at Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green on January 3.

Reading Crown Court previously heard that Olly was convinced to go to the park by a 14-year-old girl, where he was then "ambushed" by the two boys and stabbed to death.

None of the three can be named for legal reasons.

Bugs Bottom field at Emmer Green in Reading Credit: ITV Meridian

The jury found the two boys guilty of murder after deliberating for just over 18 hours.

The older boy was further found guilty of perverting the course of justice by disposing of the clothes he wore when the incident took place.

The attackers left Olly with stab wounds to the chest and back after a short scuffle at the scene.

Jurors were told both of them had had "grievances" with Olly, while the girl is said to have described any violence against him as "karma" in the run-up to his death.

The younger boy, who was 13 at the time, used a knife to stab Olly while the older boy was fighting with him, the court previously heard.

The girl, also 14, who was present at the scene during the attack had earlier admitted manslaughter along with the older boy.

The younger boy had also admitted perverting the course of justice by disposing of clothing worn at the time of the killing, while the older boy admitted the same offence for deleting mobile phone applications.

Bugs Bottom Credit: ITV Meridian

Jurors were told they had shared several messages on Snapchat in the days leading up to Olly's death, which demonstrated hostility towards him.

Charles White, Crown Prosecution Service says the story of Olly’s death was told through social media. 

He says: “The police were able to retrieve the defendants' phones, as well as Olly's and a number of associates. They were able to crunch through a vast amount of data in order to produce a timeline of events, almost minute-by-minute, so the whole plot could be mapped out leading up to the killing and the aftermath.”

  • Charles White, Crown Prosecution Service:

While being questioned, the younger boy said he took a knife to the scene because the older boy told him to, and that he expected Olly would have a weapon.

During the fight, he said Olly reached for his own waistband and assumed at that moment he was going to pull out a knife.

The boy said he then pulled a vegetable knife because he thought the older boy "was going to get stabbed".

Asked why he did this, the younger boy told the court he wanted to "scare Olly" and that he had aimed at his arm "to stop him from pulling out a knife".

The older boy had argued that he was unaware the other was bringing a knife and was shocked when the younger boy stabbed Olly.

Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading says she has been “deeply affected” hearing the impact Olly’s death has had on his family. 

She says: “I heard from them that there was a sense of fear amongst him and his peer group about what might happen as a result of people carrying knives." 

  • Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading:

The three teenagers will be sentenced at a later date.