A teenager has been convicted for the killing of his 12-year-old friend in Lincolnshire after luring him to woodland and attempting to decapitate him.
The victim, a 12-year-old boy identified as Roberts Buncis was lured by his 15-year-old friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons and repeatedly stabbed him on the ground off Alcorn Green in Fishtoft, near Boston in Lincolnshire.
The incident happened on December 12 last year, just two days before the victims 13th birthday.
A trial at Lincoln Crown Court heard that the defendant “intended at the very least to inflict serious violence” on his young victim because “he was a snitch”.
The teenager claimed Roberts had taken the knife to the scene and he “lost control” when the youngster attempted to stab him.
Jurors dismissed the defendant’s account after under two hours of deliberations, and instead concluded he was “motivated by anger and tried to punish the deceased rather than losing self-control”.
The youth admitted manslaughter mid way through his trial but denied murder.
Addressing the defendant after his conviction on Monday, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told him: “You have been found guilty of the murder of Roberts Buncis.
“In due course, a sentence will have to be imposed upon you.
“The type of sentence will be explained to you I am quite sure, but the actual sentence will have to be the subject of discussion between counsel and myself.
“You will remain in custody in the meantime.”
The teenager’s trial was told he stabbed Roberts “in excess of 70 times”, with a wound to the neck that was “consistent with a decapitation attempt.”
Jurors were told the defendant “lured” his victim to the area after the pair exchanged Facebook messages.
The youth also sent messages to other friends after the attack saying: “It wasn’t meant to go down like this.”
Adjourning the case to a date to be fixed, the judge told the youth’s barrister: “I am not intending to proceed to sentence this afternoon.
“I fully understand that there may well be material which the defence and possibly the prosecution, will want to provide to me, which will be relevant to the sentencing exercise.
“It may be that you would like to give some thought to the nature of that material.
“In any event, it’s not a straight-forward sentencing exercise, and I would welcome input from both yourself and the Crown as to the appropriate sentence in this case, as far as length is concerned.”
The judge, who excused the jurors from further jury service for the next five years, said he would consider an application to lift reporting restrictions in the case at the sentencing hearing.
Acting on behalf of the youth, defence QC Brendan Kelly admitted the violence was “extraordinary” but submitted it indicated a “loss of control” from the defendant.
Addressing the jury during the trial, the prosecution told the jury the murder was “brutal”, “sustained” and “gratuitous”.
Following the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Myszczyszyn, of East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “Roberts should have had his life ahead of him but his future was stolen in the most brutal way.
“The future of all who loved Roberts will now be tainted with grief and sorrow and we send our deepest sympathy.
“Their bravery, and their support for our investigation, under such horrific circumstances, has been incredible.
“This was an utterly senseless act with devastating consequences.
“It’s a tragedy that deeply affected the school and the local community, and one that will stay with all of us for a lifetime.
“The level of violence, and that it involved children, makes it all the more difficult to comprehend.
“Nothing can bring Roberts back, but today’s outcome at least might offer some closure to those affected, and a sense that justice has been served.
“There could be no stronger message than this on the potential devastation that carrying a knife can bring.
“Please think of Roberts, remember him, and make the right choices. If you, as a parent or a child, have any concerns about knives, please talk to us.
“We can all play a part in building a future free of such unnecessary and tragic loss of life.”