Former Isle schoolboy stabbed through the heart

A SCHOOLBOY stashed a knife in his lunchbox and vowed to stab someone who was ‘picking on him’ - before knifing a teenager through the heart with a kitchen blade in a street fight.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was travelling to school when he told a pal he was going to deal ‘a couple of stabs’ to someone who was ‘always starting on him’.

Later the same day the boy used a different knife from the same set in his mother’s kitchen to stab 18-year-old Joseph Smith through the heart.

Former South Axholme School pupil Joseph, from Moorends, - whose girlfriend Hayley Webster was pregnant at the time with their first baby, a daughter - collapsed in the street bleeding. Locals ran to him and he was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead.

The blade had pierced both chambers of his heart.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the killer fled, and the weapon - a steak knife 22cm long - was recovered from a drain in a street in Thorne.

The 15-year-old was arrested after being discovered crying in a garden in Thorne.

Now 16, he admits manslaughter but denies murder. He claims he wielded the knife only to scare Joseph, and stabbed his victim accidentally when he lunged at him during the street fight.

But Michelle Colborne QC, prosecuting, told jurors: “When the defendant left home with a knife he intended to use it, having threatened the deceased earlier that he would stab him.”

Ms Colborne said the fatal argument began at around 4pm on March 23 this year, when the teenager encountered Joseph and started swearing at him. The pair took up fighting positions, but the youth ran off. Ms Colborne said he returned home ‘for a matter of minutes’, and met up again with his victim at the crossroads where Joseph swung a punch at him.

“The defendant had a knife on his person, likely up his sleeve,” said Ms Colborne. “He deflected a punch and aimed a punch back, which connected on his chest. The deceased looked down and saw he had been stabbed.”

The boy claimed he had found the knife in an alley, but the court heard tests found it matched a set at his home.

AT the time of Joseph’s death South Axholme headteacher Marie Lister said: “Joseph was one of our pupils and there is shock within the school community. He was a popular and quiet young man and we have pupils who have siblings in his year group.

“I just think this is very shocking and our thoughts are with his friends and family, I am sure it’s a very difficult time. We will be thinking of him.”

* The trial continues - see next week’s Bells/Advertiser.