A 17-year-old boy has been found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of Azzam Raguragui, who was stabbed to death in a park in Co Dublin last year.

The accused boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, admitted killing the 18-year-old, but denied murder.

The trial heard that a fight erupted between two groups of teens following a row about a stolen bike and that  during the melée, the accused stabbed Mr Raguragui five times.

His lawyers had argued that the boy acted in fear during what they described as a terrifying brawl between two groups of youths.

They said a fight broke out at Finsbury Park in Dundrum on 10 May 2019 and spiralled out of control because of a combination of youthful male posturing, fear, adrenaline and a lack of judgement by a lot of people including, and principally, the accused.

However, the prosecution said the boy's behaviour before, during and after the stabbing had shown clear intent to kill or cause serious harm.

Senior Counsel James Dwyer said the boy had armed himself with a knife and assembled a group to confront Azzam Raguragui and his friends.

The boy’s statement to the gardaí was, he said, a hastily prepared work of fiction that did not hold up to scrutiny.

In his charge to the jury, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that if they find that the accused honestly believed that he was acting in self-defence, but used more force than a reasonable person would consider necessary, then he should be found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. 

If the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he knowingly used more force than was necessary then he is guilty of murder, the judge said. 

Before they broke for lunch today, the judge told the jury of six men and six women they could bring in a majority verdict of either murder or manslaughter.

After deliberating for 13 hours and 17 minutes over three days, they returned a majority 10-2 verdict of not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.