A schoolboy sobbed loudly as a jury ruled on Friday that he was a murderer, following a trial where it was revealed he used a 30 centimetre long knife to kill a 15-year-old boy he knew at a skate park.

The boy, who is 15 himself, had denied killing Elton Gashaj with the hunting knife claiming it was in self-defence. 

Elton Gashaj was stabbed three times by a knife described as 'around the size of a forearm' and collapsed on the tarmac of Salt Hill Park in Slough as the killer fled the scene perched on the handlebars of a bicycle. 

After three weeks of evidence and almost seven and a half hours of deliberating, a jury of six men and five woman at Reading Crown Court concluded that the boy accused of wielding the blade which killed Elton, was guilty of murder. 

Caroline Carberry QC - the lead defence counsel representing the boy who cannot be named for legal  reasons - was forced to stay at home and self-isolate amid the coronavirus outbreak, leaving her junior Craig Harris, to deliver the closing speech to the jury during the trial. 

As the trial overran, a member of the jury - who heard all the evidence - had to be discharged as the panel retired to consider their verdict due to examination commitments. 

The jury had heard how before the killing a group of 10 boys had pulled pampus grass from the ground at the skate park and removed the fluffy top turning the sticks into 'play swords' prodding at young Elton last September 21.

Prosecuting the case, Pavlos Panayi QC said: "If it was larking around there came a point where it was partly one-sided. Elton had had enough and reportedly told them to stop, to no avail. What happened after was no horseplay.

"The fight quickly escalated to serious violence. The defendant produced that big knife and stabbed Elton three times in his upper body. Twice to the left hand side of his chest and once in the back."

Witnesses playing tennis watched a 'calm and confident' boy throw a jagged knife into bushes before climbing onto a friend's bicycle handlebars and peddling away from the scene. 

The smartly-dressed defendant had admitted at a previous hearing having a bladed article in a public place and will be sentenced along with his murder conviction, at a later date. 

Judge Heather Norton said: "Sentencing a case of this kind is something that requires time, care and thought. Particularly when the person to be sentenced is as young as he is. People have to have time to process what has happened."