Express & Star

Ashes of tragic schoolboy killed near his home scattered in River Severn, family reveal

The grieving parents of a schoolboy stabbed to death in a tragic case of mistaken identity yards from his home have revealed that his ashes were scattered in the River Severn at Bridgnorth.

Ronan Kanda's ashes were scattered in River Severn

Weeks after completing his GCSEs, 16-year-old Ronan Kanda was killed in Mount Road, in Lanesfield, in Wolverhampton, on June 29 last year.

His distraught parents Pooja and Chander Kanda said due to the murder investigation they were unable to have a fully traditional Hindu funeral featuring an open coffin, but they took comfort from a simple ceremony held on the banks of the Severn when his remains were finally released to them.

His mother Pooja said: "I couldn't kiss him, and we couldn't give him an open coffin funeral, and have him at home for everyone to see and pay respects as is the Hindu family practice, because of the defendants pleading not guilty. The defence wanted a second post-mortem then a third post-mortem.

"We had to make sure the coffin was closed. When he was alive he went through this horrible ordeal, even when he's dead he's still going through an ordeal because of these people and the barristers asking for this and that.

"As we're Hindu we cremate loved ones. In the end we had a ceremony for him at Bridgnorth and scattered his ashes in the river."

Ronan's parents Chander and Pooja Kanda and his sister Nikita

His father Chander explained: "It's heartbreaking for us. When we got to the mortuary the first thing Pooja said was 'he's cold, we need to warm him up'.

"[His sister] Nikita was screaming 'wake up'. We were told we couldn't touch him as was now evidence in a police investigation. When he left the house I said 'Ronan you look very nice'. That was the last time I saw my son alive. Now I couldn't touch him, I couldn't hug him, I couldn't kiss him."

They have also released a new picture of the young Liverpool Football Club fan, who loved to visit Anfield with his dad and sister Nikita, 22, to watch his heroes play.

His mother Pooja said: "I can say my 16 years of beautiful life ended on June 29. He made me the most happiest mother and Ronan is every mother's dream of a good loving caring son. I am proud of my son.

"We need to cut knife crime down to zero if possible because what they've done to this family, I hope no mother, no other family has to go through it because it hurts like hell."

Tributes in Mount Road, Lanesfield, where Ronan Kanda was attacked

Defenceless Ronan Kanda was fatally stabbed in the heart by a 17-year-old accompanied by a 16-year-old who both crept up behind him, thinking it was someone else who owed them money. Both youths from Walsall, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found guilty in unanimous verdicts last week after a jury trial.

In a statement read to Wolverhampton Crown Court, Pooja stated: “On June 29, 2022 my innocent son was murdered. I remember kissing his cheek and saying 'you look very handsome' and waving at him before his father dropped him off to the snooker club – I replay this in my mind every day. That was the last time I saw my son alive.

“With this I have lost a lifetime of dreams, plans, hopes and wishes. Nothing on this earth will satisfy my maternal desire to hold my son in my arms.”

Detective Inspector Ade George led the murder inquiry

Detective Inspector Ade George from West Midlands Police's homicide unit led the investigation, and said: “The pain of losing a child is immeasurable, but to also know that he was not the intended target adds a whole new layer of grief and I cannot begin to imagine the sorrow Ronan’s family feel.

“The defendants on trial are also too young to have thrown their lives away on such reckless actions that led to this tragedy. Their families too will suffer as they face lengthy prison sentences.

“There are no winners when knives remain on our streets and we will continue to crack down on those who think it’s acceptable to carry them.”