Two teenagers have been jailed for the sadistic murder of a young Wolverhampton lad who was described by his family as a “sweet and loving son”.

16-year-old Ronan Kanda was on his way home after buying a PlayStation controller when he was fatally stabbed with a ninja sword on 29 June 2022.

The poor boy was just yards from the home when he was set upon and brutally attacked from behind in an unbelievably callous and shocking case of mistaken identity. He received horrific stab wounds to his back, hip and chest.

His cowardly attackers fled the scene and later dumped their weapons and clothes in an attempt to evade police detection.

Ronan had just finished his GCSEs and was looking forward to the summer holidays before starting sixth form and A-levels the following September. He was bright and popular, and had spent the day with a friend playing snooker.

He left home around 8pm to collect the gaming controller and listening to music on his headphones as he walked.

16-year-old Ronan Kanda tragically died after being stabbed in WolverhamptonWMP
16-year-old Ronan Kanda tragically died after being stabbed in Wolverhampton

Earlier that day another 16-year-old, Prabjeet Veadhesa, had collected a Ninja sword set and a large machete from a local post-office which he had bought online. He had taken a dislike to one of Ronan’s friends and the two had fought on a previous occasion.

Later the same day Veadhesa conspired with three associates to visit Ronan’s friend as he was owed money, but it was clear from the weapons they carried that their intention was violence.

All four travelled to Lanesfield in a red Corsa driven by 20-year-old Josiah Francis and front-seat passenger 18-year-old Joseph Whittaker.

Just before 8.30pm the car entered Mount Road as Ronan was almost home. Veadhesa and another 16-year-old Sukhman Shergill got out of the car and chased after Ronan. Veadhesa reached him and struck twice. Ronan was taken completely by surprise and was utterly defenceless. He stumbled and called for help before collapsing in the road.

Sadly Ronan’s injuries were too catastrophic to survive and he died at the scene.

Officers immediately launched an investigation and painstaking CCTV analysis led to four arrests within days.

Although only Veadhesa inflicted the blows which killed Ronan, Shergill was found to have acted in the joint enterprise of Ronan’s murder.

And after a five-week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, a jury took just over two hours to find the pair, now 17, guilty of murder. Both Francis and Whittaker were acquitted of all charges.

Sukhman Shergill and Prabjeet Veadhasa have been jailed for the sadistic murderWMP
Sukhman Shergill and Prabjeet Veadhasa have been jailed for the sadistic murder

Due to the severity of the crime, Mr Justice Choudhury decided to lift reporting restrictions on naming the teenagers with the aim of sending out a strong and robust message about the seriousness of knife crime.

On Thursday 13 July the the teenagers were back in court to hear their sentences. Prabjeet Veadhesa, from Cairn Drive in Walsall, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 18 years, while his accomplice Sukhman Shergill, from Bewley Road in Willenhall, was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years.

Ronan’s family were left distraught by his death, and when tributes were read out during the trial it deeply affected them.

In a statement read to the court his mother, Pooja said: “On 29 June 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.”

16-year-old Ronan Kanda was stabbed to death in a tragic case of mistaken identityWMP
Ronan Kanda was stabbed to death in a tragic case of mistaken identity

Ronan’s father, Chander, said: “Ronan was not only my son – he was my world, my friend and the soul of our family. He was the one that would make us laugh and realise that life is what you make it and enjoy our precious time on earth as a family.”

The savage killing left Ronan’s sister Nikita traumatised and she said she is “no longer the same person” and that her “world has stopped” and she feels “empty”.

Detective Inspector Ade George, from the Homicide Unit, 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.”

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