A SCHOOLBOY has been acquitted of murdering another Doncaster teenager who he stabbed through the heart with a kitchen knife.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had already pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of dad-to-be Joseph Smith.
But the defendant, from Moorends, was found not guilty of murder on Friday after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Joseph, 18, whose partner was expecting his second child, died after being stabbed by the boy, then aged 15, in Lacarno Road, Moorends.
A post mortem examination revealed the cause of death was a single stab wound to his chest.
After the verdict Joseph’s parents, Betsy and Charles Smith, said: “The day we lost Joey was the saddest day of our lives. Six months later, you can almost touch the grief in the family home.
“We lost a wonderful son, brother, partner and father who had the rest of his life ahead of him and two beautiful children to watch grow up.
“No-one will ever know what went through one boy’s mind as he took the life of another.
“Whatever happens it will never bring Joey back and we have to live with this grief for the rest of our lives.”
The court heard the two young men were out with their friends in Moorends when the stabbing happened on March 23.
They had clashed in two separate altercations in the village just hours earlier, jurors were told.
Det Chief Insp Matt Fenwick added: “This case has greatly affected the community of Moorends where both Joseph Smith and the 16-year-old boy are from.”