15-year-old boy found guilty of murder of teenager Alfie Lewis | UK News

Alfie Lewis’ family cried as the verdict was announced and paid a moving tribute to their “beautiful boy” outside the court.

Friday 3 May 2024 17:55, United Kingdom

A 15-year-old boy has been found guilty of the murder of teenager Alfie Lewis.

Alfie, 15, was stabbed to death in front of pupils leaving a primary school in the Horsforth area of leeds last November.

A teenager, who cannot be named, admitted stabbing Alfie with a 13cm-long knife he had brought from home, but denied murder and claimed he acted in self-defence when he pulled out the blade.

When the verdict was announced, sobs could be heard from Alfie’s family in the public gallery at Leeds Crown Court. Most of them wore T-shirts with pictures of him and the words “Forever 15.”

The defendant did not show any visible emotion. Before they took him away, he held his parents’ hands through a gap in the dock’s glass.

He will be sentenced on June 21.

Judge Cotter told him: “You have been found guilty of murder. I can only pass one sentence. What I have to determine is how many years you will be detained before you can be released.”

Jurors heard that Alfie had been walking down the street to meet friends at the end of the school day when the defendant, who was 14 at the time, attacked him with a kitchen knife.

Prosecutor Craig Hassall KC said: “Alfie did not meet any of his friends that day.”

Alfie was stabbed twice, once in the chest and once in the leg, “in full view of dozens of pupils leaving the school and people waiting to pick them up,” Hassall added.

Witnesses said they saw Alfie back away, saying “relax” and “what are you doing?” while the accused attacked him with the weapon.

An autopsy found the fatal stab wound was a 14cm deep wound to Alfie’s chest that pierced his heart.

The defendant fled the scene and dumped the murder weapon on the road near the school, Hassall said.

Alfie’s family pay tribute

Speaking outside court after the verdict, Alfie’s brother Antony Lewis read a statement on behalf of his family.

He thanked the jury for reaching “what, to us, seems a sensible and obvious conclusion: that Alfie posed no threat to anyone around him and that his death was senseless”.

“Our deepest thanks go to all those people who rushed to Alfie’s aid after his attack, who showed him love, care and compassion and tried to save his life,” he said.

Paying tribute to his younger brother, he continued: “Most of all, we would like to thank Alfie for giving us his love, joy and humour, and for making us smile every day of the 15 years we had to enjoy.” you and I love you.

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

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Tributes were left on a bench in Broadgate Lane, Horsforth, after Alfie’s death last year. Photo: PA

The jury was told there had been two previous incidents involving the teenagers.

The first was in July, when Alfie intervened during a fight between the accused and another boy. The second was on Halloween and involved a bag of fireworks that the defendant was carrying.

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The defendant, who previously pleaded guilty to possession of the kitchen knife, told the court he was afraid of Alfie and pulled out the knife in self-defence. The jury rejected his claims and convicted him of murder.

During the investigation, the knife was compared to a set found in the defendant’s home and Alfie’s blood was found on his clothing.

It is believed the teenager carried the knife to school all day as he prepared to meet Alfie at home. He was arrested about an hour after a witness identified him as a suspect.