patrol car Thames Valley
(Image: Thames Valley police)

Teenage Boys Convicted of Murdering 14-Year-Old Nathaniel Shani in Manchester

In a somber verdict, two teenage boys were found guilty of the murder of 14-year-old Nathaniel Shani in Harpurhey, Greater Manchester. The tragic incident, which occurred on September 15, 2023, involved Nathaniel being fatally stabbed in the neck during a confrontation in an alleyway.

The two defendants, a 14-year-old known as Boy A and a 13-year-old known as Boy B, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, faced a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court. Boy A confessed to the stabbing but claimed he acted in self-defense. Boy B was accused of encouraging the act while armed with a screwdriver, told to BBC.

The court heard that the dispute stemmed from a disagreement over stolen cannabis. Nathaniel and Boy A had previously arranged to meet in the alley off Tavistock Square to settle their differences through a fight. The prosecutor, Jason Pitter KC, described the scene as a tragic escalation of a common adolescent conflict over reputation and drugs.

Nathaniel Shani
Photo by GMP/family handout

Boy A stated during the trial that he felt threatened by Nathaniel, who he believed possessed a knife and acted aggressively towards him. In response, Boy A armed himself with a knife for protection. During the altercation, Nathaniel punched Boy A, who then retaliated by stabbing Nathaniel in the neck.

Both defendants displayed emotional distress as the guilty verdicts were read, and the atmosphere in the courtroom was charged, with visible emotional reactions from the public gallery and some jury members.

Nathaniel was remembered fondly by his family in a heart-wrenching statement, describing him as a “best friend to many” and a young boy who was “kind, caring, and always thinking of others.” His death has left a profound void in their lives.

The jury deliberated for approximately 20 hours before reaching their decision. Sentencing for the two boys is scheduled for June 2024. Following the verdict, Martin Hill, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, expressed the tragic nature of the case and reaffirmed the CPS’s commitment to combating knife crime. The community and Nathaniel’s loved ones are left to mourn and reflect on the devastating impact of youth violence.

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