A schoolboy who stabbed his love rival in the heart in front of the girl they both loved faces jail after being convicted of manslaughter today.
The 17-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was found guilty of killing Irfan Wahid, 16, by a jury.
Irfan was getting close to the ex-girlfriend of the defendant during the aftermath of his break-up with her, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Irfan, described by friends as ‘humble and very fearless’, was killed following a single wound to the chest in a broad daylight street fight.
The teenage defendant was found not guilty of murder, but was found guilty of manslaughter as Irfan’s heartbroken family sat listening to the verdict in silence.
Irfan Wahid (pictured) died after being stabbed in chest in Leeds, West Yorkshire, earlier this year
Addressing the defendant, Judge Marson, QC, said: ‘The sentence will have to wait so that you can be seen by the youth offending team and they can prepare a report for the court.
‘In the meantime you will have to be remanded in custody.’
The defendant had pleaded not guilty to murder following the incident on a street corner outside of a branch of Yorkshire Bank and a Kebab shop in the Harehills area of Leeds, West Yorks.
He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon following Irfan’s death in February of this year.
The jury heard that the defendant, who was 16 at the time of the killing, was reeling from a break up which had happened in November 2016.
The defendant had known his ex-girlfriend for eight months, having been out as boyfriend and girlfriend ‘a couple of times’.
The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard that on the afternoon of the attack the defendant went to meet the girl at a bus stop in an attempt to discuss their relationship.
Shortly afterwards, Irfan Wahid got off a bus, intending to meet the same young woman. He discovered her talking to the 17-year-old.
Police rushed to the scene of the fatal stabbing and launched a murder inquiry after Irfan Wahid’s body was found
Eyewitnesses described how Irfan lashed out, hitting the 17-year-old a number of times. His killer then pulled out a knife and stabbed Irfan between the ribs. He died later in hospital.
Kama Melly, QC, prosecuting, said the defendant then took a kitchen knife from his bag and stabbed Irfan once to the chest.
The incident happened on February 10 this year as the city street was busy with shoppers, parents collecting children from school and teenagers making their way home.
Ms Melly told the jury: ‘(the defendant) and Irfan were not friends – they did not go to the same school or college.
‘They had not fallen out through links to gangs or criminal involvement.
‘Their link, it seems, was through connections with the same girl.’
Appearing in a pre-recorded interview, the defendant’s 16-year-old ex said: ‘At first I didn’t see the point in meeting him.
‘But he kept asking and I was like OK because it’s not like I hate him or anything.
‘He came with his cousin who I spoke to, but then he [the defendant] asked him to leave.
‘He took out his phone and showed me a paragraph he’d written – it was like a quote.’
Meanwhile, the court heard Irfan was travelling home on the bus with two friends, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Even though it wasn’t his usual stop, Irfan exited the bus at the same stop where the defendant and his ex girlfriend were talking.
The court heard Irfan turned to one of his friends before exiting and said: ‘If anything goes down you will back me up right?’
The ex girlfriend described what happened next.
‘I didn’t see where Irfan came from but he came from behind me,’ she said.
‘Before I saw him I saw his arm and black coat and I saw his arm punch the defendant.
‘I don’t know how many times he hit him because I was behind him trying to get him off. They’re both much bigger than me.
‘I didn’t see Irfan get stabbed and I didn’t know until after he [the defendant] had run away.
‘He [the defendant] just disappeared.
‘Irfan couldn’t speak, he was just groaning and there was a lot of blood. It was all over my school shoes and my school trousers.
‘Irfan stumbled and fell to the floor and then someone came over and showed me how to do CPR.
‘Someone came out of Yorkshire Bank and gave us a blanket to put on him.’
The defendant, represented by barrister Richard Barraclough QC, said his client had acted in self-defence.
He told the jury that he had swung a knife, which he had taken from his aunt’s house and carried in his bag to defend himself from gangs in the area, after being punched to the ground by Irfan and others.
The defendant said it was only when he saw blood on the weapon that he realised what had happened.
He then said he ran away, threw the knife down a grate and burned his clothes.
The court heard that the defendant heard about Irfan’s death and felt terrible.
He then handed himself into the police after spending a night sleeping in his car.
The defendant did not react when the verdicts were returned was remanded in custody until his sentencing on September 15.
Speaking after the verdict, Ed Hulbert from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: ‘The defendant confronted Irfan with a kitchen knife and fatally stabbed him, despite the immediate assistance offered by passers-by.
‘The attacker went on to burn his clothes and only gave himself up to the police two days later.
‘The CPS was able to make use of a provision which allows the questioning of child witnesses to take place in advance on video, to assist them in giving their evidence.’
Mr Hulbert added: ‘Our sympathies are with Irfan’s family.’
The 17-year-old will be sentenced on 15 September.