Olly Stephens was killed by two boys who can’t be named for legal reasons (Image: Geoff Swaine/REX/Shutterstock)

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The murder of a schoolboy "should horrify us as a society", a police chief inspector has said on the day his killers were convicted of murder.

Two boys, now aged just 14, were found guilty of murdering Olly Stephens in a Reading, Berkshire park on January 3.

A girl had lured the 13-year-old to the beauty spot where he was stabbed twice.

The pair, both now aged 14, were jointly charged with his murder. The girl has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

In an emotional statement after the trial, Olly's family said "within 13 minutes of leaving the safety of his loving home, Olly had left us forever."

Following the trial Thames Valley Police's Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard said society should be "horrified" by the case.

Olly Stephens was stabbed to death in a Reading park
(Image: Thames Valley Police / SWNS)

“Olly’s family have told me on many occasions how he was a young man who stood up for the underdog and what was fair – I hope that Olly would feel that in that sense, justice has been achieved," the senior investigating officer said.

“But this is not a case where any of us should be celebrating these verdicts and this outcome.

“The circumstances of this case are horrific, and will no doubt shock and appal people.

"Olly’s completely unnecessary killing, orchestrated and carried out by three other children, should horrify us as a society.

“A 13-year-old boy with a bright future ahead of him has died in the most tragic circumstances, over a childish argument between a group of his peers.

"His family and friends have been devastated by his loss."

Reading Crown Court previously heard that Olly was convinced to go to the park by a 14-year-old girl, where he was then "ambushed" by the two boys and stabbed to death.

The girl and the older of the teenage boys had both previously admitted manslaughter.

None of the three can be named for legal reasons.

The court heard both of the male attackers had "grievances" with Olly, while the girl is said to have described any violence against him as "karma" in the run-up to his death.

Tributes were left at Bugs Bottom park in the town
(Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)

The Highdown School pupil's death shocked Reading
(Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)

The younger boy was cleared on one count of perverting the course of justice relating to the deletion of apps on his mobile phone.

The older was convicted of disposing of clothes at another park in Reading.

Two boys have now been convicted of murder
(Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)

The killing sparked a big police operation
(Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)

Olly's family released a touching tribute to him after the verdicts were read out.

"Our boy Olly was born to us at 9.21pm on November 1, 2007, he was taken officially from us at 5pm on January 3, 2021," they said.

“He left our home on that fateful afternoon with love and laughter in his heart, with the hope of a bright fun-filled future ahead of him.

“Within 13 minutes of leaving the safety of his loving home, Olly had left us forever.

“Two minutes was all it took to end him and cause us and our family catastrophic heartbreak.

“When I reached where Olly fell, I gently held his hand, willing him to respond, with the same love and devotion as I had on the day we met, the day he was born.

“Olly was our boy. We raised him to the best of our ability. He was a huge character in and around our home, with his friends and at school.

“He made people laugh, he could dance with the best of them, and he gave his love freely.

"His sense of humour and his wicked comic timing had us and his friends in stitches many a time."

They went on to say that he was the kind of boy who defended those who could not defend themselves.

"I pressed on him the importance of running from a fight, to get clear and take stock of events later, we would deal with the fallout together," the tribute continued.

"He did not see it my way. It cost him his life.

“His Autism and suspected PDA was never seen as a problem by us just something we would all work together to understand, to overcome his fear of feeling different.

Olly's parents issued a heartfelt tribute following the killing
(Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)

" Since moving to secondary school he had found education and learning difficult, but he made up for this in so many other ways.

"We had just got him to understand Autism was a gift, something that made him unique. We loved him for it and always will."

Jurors were told the killers had shared several messages on Snapchat in the days leading up to Olly's death, which demonstrated hostility towards him.

The girl said in one message to one of the defendants: "Karma – he (Olly) deserves all of this."

The older boy also said: "I actually hate the kid with a passion – if I was to see him right now I'd probably end up killing him."

Alison Morgan QC, prosecuting, had said Olly was "unknowingly walking into an ambush".

Ms Morgan QC said: "(The girl) lured Olly to the location of the attack, in a place called Bugs Bottom, and she lured him to allow the attack to be carried out by the two defendants.

"The defendants were motivated by perceived grievances with Olly."

A woman who was at the scene said in a witness statement a number of punches were thrown, although the boys acknowledged that Olly was getting the better of the fight.

During the fight the younger boy stepped in and stabbed Olly.

Ms Morgan went on to say of the witness: "She could see blood coming from his chest and heard sucking sounds, which she knew was not a good sound as air was not getting into Olly's lungs.

The trio were convicted at Reading Crown Court
(Image: PA)

"She noticed the shock was setting in and knew he was in cardiac arrest and began CPR on him."

The court heard the boys "encouraged" others to search local news following the incident.

The older boy messaged a friend: "Me and my boy slapped him up but my boy backed out and f****** shanked him."

Ms Morgan said: "There was no sign of any regret and no suggestion he was in any way shocked."

The younger boy also told a female friend in a message "it was the biggest mistake of my life" and he carried out the alleged attack "out of pure anger".

While being questioned, the younger boy said he took a knife to the scene because the older boy told him to and that he expected Olly would have a weapon.

During the fight, he said Olly reached for his own waistband and assumed at that moment he was going to pull out a knife.

The boy said he then pulled a vegetable knife – which he had taken from a bush near his house and put in his sleeve – because he thought the older boy "was going to get stabbed".

Asked why he did this, the younger boy told the court he wanted to "scare Olly" and that he had aimed at his arm "to stop him from pulling out a knife".

The older boy had argued he was unaware the other was bringing a knife and was shocked when the younger boy stabbed Olly.

The trial was held in special circumstances, with counsel removing their wigs and gowns due to the defendants' ages.

The three teenagers will be sentenced at a later date.