A teenager has been found guilty of killing a 15-year-old boy on a bus over a “trivial” row on Snapchat.
The 16-year-old defendant was found guilty of murdering Baptista Adjei following a “school beef chat” in front of a group of 32 youngsters on social media.
A second defendant, also 16, was found not guilty over his involvement.
The Old Bailey heard that one of the youths alerted the other after spotting Baptista and his friends on a bus to Stratford, east London, on the afternoon of October 10 last year.
When the bus pulled up, the second youth boarded, wearing a blue latex glove and carrying a “vicious looking” hunting knife.
He attacked Baptista with the 10in (25.4cm) blade, stabbing him in the chest twice and puncturing his lung and heart, jurors were told.
Mortally injured, the boy got off the bus and ran away but collapsed on the ground near a McDonald’s restaurant.
Another boy was stabbed in the arm and leg but survived.
He later told police that the attack had followed some inter-school banter on Snapchat a couple of weeks earlier.
He said the “school beef chat” had started out in fun ahead of a football match.
One of the defendants had sent Baptista a message saying: “If you’ve got no bodies on your blade, leave the group chat.”
Baptista allegedly replied: “Shut up. You’ll be the first.”
Prosecutor Deanna Heer said it was a “shocking case” and “almost unthinkable” that the defendants could have armed themselves with hunting knives over “something so trivial”.
She told jurors: “They armed themselves with those hunting knives to go hunting Baptista and (his friend).
“This was not a spontaneous attack. The evidence shows he had a knife with him and a balaclava to cover his face and at least one latex glove to handle the knife.”
The teenager who wielded the knife had admitted the manslaughter of Baptista and unlawful wounding of the other boy.
But he denied the more serious alternative charges of murder and wounding with intent, claiming he only took the knife to scare Baptista and cause a minor injury.
He told jurors he could not remember what he did to Baptista on the bus.
The second defendant accepted that he was on the bus, having tapped in with his Oyster card and been caught on CCTV.
He denied “tipping off” the other 16-year-old, telling jurors he had no idea what his friend was going to do.
His barrister, Kerim Fuad QC, told jurors: “Anyone who was or may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and unaware that another person would actually seek to do something so crazy as to come on to a bus in broad daylight, take out and use a knife in the way we see, should be found not guilty.”
After the stabbing, his client was in “pure panic, living a dawning tragic realisation as to what his close mate had done”, Mr Fuad added.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for just under 22 hours before reaching verdicts on Tuesday on both youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons.