Man convicted of the manslaughter of Louis-Ryan Menezes
Main article content
Amari Smith has been today convicted of manslaughter over the death of Louis-Ryan Menezes.
A man has been convicted of the manslaughter of teenager Louis-Ryan Menezes, who was fatally wounded in Northampton in May 2018.
Following a three-week trial at Northampton Crown Court, the jury today, Thursday, August 22, found Amari Smith, aged 18, of Penfold Close, Kingsthorpe, guilty of inflicting a single stab wound on Louis in the stairwell of Drayton Walk, Kingsthorpe.
Smith used what was described by one witness as a hunting-style knife to stab 17-year-old Louis. It pierced his heart and, despite the efforts of paramedics, he passed away a short while later at Northampton General Hospital.
The court heard how Smith had placed the knife in his coat pocket before leaving his house on the day of the killing, and used it to stab Louis following a confrontation relating to comments made on social media.
At Northampton Crown Court today, the jury of six men and six women returned their verdict, convicting Smith for the manslaughter of Louis, but clearing him of his murder.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Stuart Hitchon said: “This was a tragic case involving the loss of a very young life and the investigation has been a complex one, all the more painstaking because the victim and the main witnesses were just children at the time of the incident.
“I’m pleased justice has been done today and I hope it brings some closure for Louis’ family who have tragically lost a son, brother and grandson far too soon and I again offer them my heartfelt condolences.
“Louis’ untimely death sadly demonstrates what can be the tragic consequences of carrying a knife. This force will continue to work relentlessly to remove these potentially deadly weapons from our streets.
“Louis’ tragic death has had a huge impact on many people. I’d like to thank everybody who has helped with this investigation including the Kingsthorpe community and the wider public for their support.”
Statement from Louis' family:
“Louis was a young man with his whole life ahead of him. He was a popular, caring son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin whose life was cruelly cut short. He is so sadly missed by all his family and friends.
“Louis’ death has left a huge gap in our lives and the pain of losing him is so great it will never go away.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Kingsthorpe community for their immense support and kindness, the emergency services for their help and efforts on the afternoon Louis died and, last but not least, family and friends for their love, support and loyalty. Without this, the last few months would have been unbearable.
“We’d also like to thank the detectives, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts for their tireless work in getting justice for Louis and for us.”
Smith is due to be sentenced within the next three weeks.
Judge Adrienne Lucking thanked the jury for their service during what had been 'a very difficult trial'.