Express & Star

Shattered family of murdered schoolboy Ronan Kanda call for ban on online sale of lethal weapons

The family of a Wolverhampton schoolboy who was stabbed to death yards from his home with a blade bought over the internet are calling for action to stop the sale of lethal weapons online.

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Defenceless 16-year-old Ronan Kanda died in Mount Road in Lanesfield on June 29 last year after being fatally stabbed in the heart by a 17-year-old accompanied by a 16-year-old, in a case of mistaken identity.

Following a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court his killers, both from the Walsall area, were found guilty of murder yesterday after previously pleading guilty to possessing blades.

The pair, who cannot be named due to being aged under 18, attacked Ronan, who had just sat his GCSE exams, from behind. He was walking home listening to music on his earphones, after a brief visit to a nearby address where he had collected a gaming device, when he was set upon.

He was murdered with a weapon that had been ordered over the internet, by teenage killers who were looking for another youth they were in dispute with over a drug debt, the court heard.

Speaking to the Express & Star his devastated parents Pooja and Chander Kanda, along with sister Nikita, 22, welcomed the guilty verdicts, paid tribute to Ronan and also called on the Government to do more to tackle knife crime following a rise in serious offences involving youths and killings.

In an emotional interview they revealed that the young Liverpool fan had dreamed of becoming a lawyer and that his untimely death robbed him of his future.

Wiping her tears away, Pooja said: "Ronan was a very kind of like chilled out happy, very happy, lovely boy. He had a massive heart and he absolutely thought the world of his family."

"He got amazing GCSE results with As in English and Maths. I was so proud of him. But yet I couldn't tell him how proud I was of him. He made me the happiest mother on this.

"He helped me with everything. During 16 years he gave me so much love. I'm trying to live with that love now - even though I miss him."

His father Chander said: "It's like someone's robbed us of something that you can never get back and that thing was so precious. They've took it without any thought of the devastation that it's caused us, not just now, but for the rest of our lives.

"It's like a death sentence for us. It's not living for us, it's just an existence at the moment and it will be for the rest of our lives. The pain is indescribable. We couldn't bear to watch the CCTV footage of what happened to him. Each time they showed it in the court, the three of us walked out.

"I can only imagine what he went through. It only happened a few doors away. I think on how that as his father, I'm supposed to protect him and I was at home and this was happening."

Ronan's sister Nikita, 22, said: "He was a chilled-out boy who just loved making his family laugh. We just used to have like the best times together. He was very family-orientated. He had a great relationship with his dad, his mom and his sister. And even the extended family.

"He was a bit unique at 16 and liked stuff nobody would like at that age. He liked Japanese toys, Anime and stuff like that. I used to admire his artistic skills. He was like my pride and joy and his dad's pride and joy. He literally was everything to us.

"We just used to do the most stupid things together. Like I think sometimes we'd be like upstairs and the floor would start shaking - because we're running after each other. We'd share jokes.

"Me and my dad and my brother were very big Liverpool fans. And we would all three be like screaming in the room like watching the games. And my mom, she would kind of look annoyed since she's a Man United fan."

She added: "We need to do more to stop knife crime. You know how easy it is to acquire a knife. You can just go online and you can just buy a machete.

"I want to call out the MPs. I want to call out the Prime Minister. I want to call out society and say that we need to do more to ensure that not another innocent life gets taken from knife crime.

"We as a family are broken. I do not want to see another mother like this, father like this, another sister like this."

His father Chander Kanda called on parents to pay attention to what their sons are doing and who their friends are. He said they had never heard of his killers until Ronan had been murdered, and that as far as they were concerned he was not part of his friendship circle.

"We need to do more as a society to stop knife crime. All I can say is if we had more kids like Ronan in this world it would be a much better place. He was compassionate, kind and caring. He was genuinely a beautiful boy.

"I just can't make sense of what's happened to him. I can't process what's happened to this boy."

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Ade George said: "We managed to arrest three people very, very quickly. Within the first 24 hours we had the driver and within -72 hours we had who we believed was the stabber.

"As part of that we carry out the process of obviously searching home addresses and other areas. But within that home address, we found packaging for knives that had been purchased a couple of days before the incident and were actually collected from the post office on the day of the attack.

"That was a set of three knives, a Ninja set of knives that had got a blade of 22 inches and the other set had got a blade of 18 inches. Along with that there was a machete which had an18-inch blade. These are all weapons that were purchased solely for that evening to go out and commit that offence.

"I think it's really important for the family for the defendants to be found guilty and receive decent sentences. It's never going to bring Ronan back. It's never going to actually help them to get over it, but hopefully it will go some way to kind of help them to heal in the future.

"It's been really difficult for the officers involved in the investigation. There is clear footage of Ronan being killed which obviously is hard for officers and staff to view regularly and on a daily basis in court. And so it's obviously really nice that in the end we get a decent result."

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