A SCHOOLBOY who brutally murdered teenager Reece Tansey will spend at least 15 years behind bars.

At the end of a month-long trial at Manchester Crown Court, it took a jury more than 29 hours to find the teenager, now aged 16 and who can be identified only as Boy A, guilty of his murder and his accomplice, a 15-year-old, known as Boy B, guilty of manslaughter.

At the sentencing hearing Mrs Justice Farbey ordered that Boy A be detained at "Her Majesty's Pleasure" and also sentenced Boy B to six years' detention.

"As a result of what each of you did, Reece lost many years of life. His mother and father have lost a much-loved young son," the judge told them.

Mitigating, on behalf of Boy A, Richard Wright QC summed up the senselessness of Reece's killing.

He said: "Any right-thinking person would undoubtedly ask themselves, 'What has it come to when children, because that is what they are, of good character, because that is what they were, consider it appropriate to settle petty disputes that have arisen in the wicked echo chamber of social media, by meeting on street corners in residential areas in the middle of the night, with knives?

"I can't address that question in my submissions nor can the court answer it by this sentencing exercise."

A trial heard shocking details of how 15-year-old Reece was goaded over social media into arranging a fight with his teenage attackers, who he had never met, and who assured him it would be a fist fight.

But that was a lie and within seconds of arriving at Walker Avenue, Great Lever, in the early hours of May 4, he was stabbed repeatedly by Boy A.

Mr Wright, who defended Boy A, described how the defendants tried to act like “two-bit gangsters”who were not afraid of violence and portrayed themselves as such to acquaintances on social media.

The court heard Reece was friends with a teenager who Boy B hated, but after agreeing to a two-on-two fight with Boy A and Boy B, the pal changed his mind and Reece went to the meeting on his own,just after 4.30am.

The court heard how Boy B, then aged 14, pulled out a knife as Reece swung a punch at Boy A and Reece was then chased along the road by Boy A.

He was brutally stabbed a total of six times by Boy A, who had taken his knife, plus one he gave to Boy B, from a kitchen drawer at his home.

As Boy B followed and stood on the sidelines shouting encouragement, Reece was repeatedly attacked and on one occasion fell to his knees in the middle of the road while Boy A plunged a knife into his back.

Each of three stab wounds could have proved fatal on their own, with wounds up to 12cm deep, a pathologist said. One stab wound, which chipped a bone, would have taken particular force and another severed a major artery and vein in Reece’s arm, resulting in massive bleeding.

As Boy A and Boy B ran off, Reece staggered along the street, dripping with blood, to try and get help from Faisal Shah and Rameez Khan, who were sitting in a car, having just returned from prayers at their mosque.

The men, fearing for their safety, drove off and called the emergency services, but returned a short time later to find Harper Green School pupil Reece collapsed in a house front garden. The front door was smeared with blood as he had been banging on it in a desperate attempt to get the occupants’ attention.

After reassuring a dying Reece that an ambulance was on its way Mr Shah and Mr Khan asked who had injured him. Reece named his attackers and a short time later went into cardiac arrest.

He was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

On their way home Boy A made a chilling video of himself carrying the blood-covered knife which he posted on Snapchat and bore the caption “muppet”, before he buried the weapon in mud by Doe Hey Brook.

"Your decision to circulate that image on Snapchat is chilling," the judge told Boy A.

Back at home, Boy A and Boy B sent each other a series of messages.

At one point Boy A stated, “He’s dead now”, to which Boy B replied with a laughing emoji.

And Boy A also admitted: “At first I thought it (the knife) only went through his coat so I kept doing it.”

Later that morning, as news of Reece’s death spread via social media, Boy A and Boy B told their families about the fight and they were arrested by police, but not before Boy A did a factory reset of his mobile phone in a bid to destroy evidence.

Police investigators were able to recover many of the messages and pieced together CCTV images showing the routes Reece and his murderers took. Boy A admitted causing Reece’s death but denied murder, claiming he did not intend to kill or seriously injure him.

Boy B also denied murder, alleging he did not see Boy A with a knife at any point or know that his friend had stabbed Reece. He told the jury an object, seen on CCTV in Walker Avenue, in his own hand was a mobile phone.

In a separate hearing to be held on February 4 the judge will rule on press applications requesting reporting restrictions be lifted to enable the teenagers to be named.