The defenceless 16-year-old died in the street yards from his Mount Road home in Lanesfield around 8.30pm on June 29 last year after being stabbed in the chest and side in a case of mistaken identity.
After deliberating for two hours and 13 minutes on Tuesday two Walsall youths, aged 17 and 16, were found guilty of killing him. The pair were captured on security cameras approaching the schoolboy, whom the jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court heard was “completely oblivious” to their presence.
Ronan had been wearing his headphones as he walked along the pavement and in no position to escape the brutality that was about to befall him.
Footage of the horrific attack was played to the jury showing the 17-year-old stabbing Ronan with a sword, first in the abdomen, then as Ronan turned to look over his shoulder he was stabbed again, a fatal blow to the heart.
The youths, who cannot be named due to being under 18, had arrived in the area with their faces covered and wearing hooded tops accompanied by acquaintances driver Josiah Francis, 21, and Joseph Whittaker, 18.
The trial heard they were driving round the streets in search of an entirely different 16-year-old when they came across Ronan in front of them.
The court heard they struck him with a weapon that had been ordered over the internet and delivered to the 17-year-old's address that same day.
In his police interview the 17-year-old admitted being present at the scene of the murder and said it was “a case of mistaken identity” and that “he never intended to hurt” Ronan who was his "friend". He said there were issues with someone else and the sword and clothes he wore had been dumped in the canal.
Francis, of Westcote Avenue, Northfield; and Whittaker, of Raven Hays Road, Rubery, both in Birmingham, were found not guilty of murder, meaning they were completely cleared by the jury.
Both were also found not guilty of a count each of possessing swords and possessing swords in a public place.
Trial judge Mr Justice Akhlaq Choudhury thanked the jury for its service and remanded the youths in custody. Both of the youths will be sentenced in July for Ronan's murder.