Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 2 July 2007 17:20 UK

Boy guilty of footballer murder

Kiyan Prince
Kiyan was a striker for QPR's youth team

A teenager has been convicted of murdering a schoolboy footballer by stabbing him in the heart.

Kiyan Prince, 15, was killed by Hannad Hasan when he intervened in a mock fight outside the London Academy school in Edgware, north London, in May 2006.

Hasan, 17, of Colindale, north London, admitted manslaughter but denied murder, claiming it was an accident.

It was the third trial in the case - jurors could not reach a verdict in the first and the retrial collapsed.

Hasan was remanded in custody until 27 July when he will be sentenced.

Penknives 'not toys'

Following the verdict Kiyan's father Mark Prince thanked the jurors for "eventually coming to a decision".

"People don't recognise that a knock on effect that happens when someone is ripped from your life in the way that Kiyan was taken from our family... everyone gets affected in a deep and devastating way," he said.

Mr Prince said the family would start a campaign to reduce gun and knife crime.

The verdict should be a clear message to all those young men and women who choose to carry and use weapons
Det Ch Insp Alistair Tully

Jasvant Narwal, spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Knives, including penknives, are not toys and we the CPS prosecute for murder as we have done in this case as we would if a gun had been used."

Jurors heard how Kiyan, a striker for QPR's youth team, had stepped in when a friend became involved in a play fight with Hasan, who was then 16.

Woman juror

Hasan turned on Kiyan, putting him in a headlock before stabbing him with a penknife.

Hasan later told police he had been trying to scratch Kiyan in the arm, "but it went deep in... cos I never used a knife before".

Hannad Hasan
Hannad Hasan, then 16, stabbed Kiyan Prince with a penknife

It has emerged that the first retrial was abandoned two days after the jury retired, because Kiyan's distraught father approached a woman juror on her way home.

Away from the jury, lawyers revealed that Hasan had been excluded from his school six days before the attack on Kiyan for assaulting pupils and urinating in front of a teacher.

Less than two weeks before the stabbing, he had allegedly threatened to stab a girl during a trivial dispute over a bus seat.

He disputed this allegation, and charges were never brought.

The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, criticised a "catastrophic" failure by the prosecution to give the defence sufficient notice of evidence it wanted to submit.

He said this failure meant the jury was never told about his previous violent outbursts.

Appropriate charge

In a statement the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it could not rely solely on the bad character of the defendant to prove the charge.

The CPS and the Metropolitan Police have launched a joint review to identify any shortcomings and take steps to rectify them.

Speaking after the verdict, Det Ch Insp Alistair Tully said the prosecution team felt murder was the appropriate charge.

"The verdict should be a clear message to all those young men and women who choose to carry and use weapons of the consequences of their actions," he said.

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