William Peter Lewis
The family of a 16-year-old boy stabbed to death by
another teenager in 2010 reacted with disappointment and
outrage to a High Court jury's manslaughter verdict yesterday.
William Peter Lewis (16) was fatally stabbed three times on
April 1, 2010, in Oamaru by Daniel Ethan Smith (20), also 16
at the time.
At 12.40pm on the sixth day of Smith's retrial, a jury in the
High Court in Timaru delivered their verdict.
The jury of six men and six women found Smith not guilty of
murder, but guilty of manslaughter.
Smith was convicted and has been remanded in custody. He is
due to be sentenced on August 29.
Smith remained calm when the jury returned the verdicts,
while there were gasps and tears from the family and friends
Outside the court, William's father, Peter Lewis, criticised
the verdict and questioned if three stabs in the back with a
20cm hunting knife did not mean murder, then what did.
He believed the evidence justified a murder verdict
Mr Lewis described yesterday's manslaughter verdict as ''an
outrage'', but vowed he, along with the ''whole family'',
would present victim impact statements again when Smith was
William's mother, Jenny Brokenshire, said the family was
''frustrated'' and ''really disappointed'' by the outcome.''
But we would like to say a huge thanks to all William's
friends and family and to Andrew and Anne-Marie McRae, Derek
Shaw and Victim Support - they have been fantastic,'' she
The number of William's supporters in court for all six days
of the retrial was an indication of how much he was loved and
missed, she said.
Smith's family did not want to comment.
Crown prosecutors Andrew and Anne-Marie McRae had alleged
Smith had murderous intent when he chose to stab William in
the back ''not once, not twice, but three times'' during what
was ''not more than a verbal scuffle''.
Smith's defence, Christopher Stevenson and Catherine Milnes,
claimed he acted in self-defence, ''instinctively to a
situation he didn't create''.
The jury of six men and six women retired for deliberations
at 2.50pm on Tuesday, and broke for the night at 5.20pm.
They delivered the verdict after further deliberations
In order to find him guilty of murder, they needed to decide
if the Crown had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the
conduct of Smith with a knife could not be a reasonable force
to use in defence of himself, in the circumstances as he
believed them to be.
They disproved self-defence, but could not be satisfied
beyond reasonable doubt that he had ''murderous intent''.
Justice Rachel Dunningham thanked the jury for their work on
a ''gruelling and emotional'' case and ordered a new
pre-sentence report and updated victim impact statements.
The reasons for the retrial are suppressed.