THERE were cries from loved ones in a packed public gallery today as a 16-year-old boy was found guilty of attempted murder at Oxford Crown Court for stabbing a man.

The teenager had been on trial with three other young men from Oxford for his actions on November 22 last year in Wood Farm Road which left Barry Sheldon fighting for his life.

During the trial earlier this month prosecutors had alleged the group had set upon Mr Sheldon after drinking a bottle of Brandy between them.

Read our coverage from the trial

The jury had heard from Steven Perian QC that the boy, who was just 15 at the time of the attack, had 'lunged' at Mr Sheldon with a knife, repeatedly stabbing him 'at least 12 times' as part of the assault.

The stab wounds, Mr Perian told jurors, cut through the man's liver and through his right lung, causing damage to his rib cage and severing an artery.

The now 16-year-old, who cannot be named due to his age, was also found guilty of attempted robbery following an earlier incident that night in which a doctor walking home from the pub was threatened with a knife.

ALSO READ: Person killed after being hit by a train between Didcot and Swindon

Ethan Broster, 18, of Windmill Road, Oxford, was also found guilty of attempted robbery but cleared of attempted murder and instead convicted of the lesser offence of wounding with intent.

The other two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were cleared of both attempted murder and wounding with intent.

During the trial Mr Perian had told jurors the boys spotted their first victim - Benjamin Fairfax, a doctor at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, at Old Road at about 11pm.

ALSO READ: Vandals spotted 'kicking down' cemetery wall next to graves

He said Mr Fairfax was threatened with a knife and had his glasses snatched from him, only managing to escape by banging on the side of a passing bus that stopped to let him on.

Not long after, the group spotted Mr Sheldon, who had been out playing pool with friends that night at Wood Farm Road.

Giving evidence during the trial, the youngest of the four had insisted he had not realised he was stabbing the man.

He said: "I believe [the knife] was still in my hand from the first incident.

ALSO READ: Didcot travellers plan to stay 'for as long as possible'

"Ethan Broster threw a punch or something. [Mr Sheldon] hit me with, I now know, was the case of his snooker cue.

"[Mr Sheldon] must have thought it was me that did it so when he turned around he struck me with the case of his snooker cue.

"I reacted by what I thought was at the time throwing punches. I can't remember how many times I was just swinging my arm."

A jury of six women and five men returned unanimous verdicts on all charges facing the four teenagers yesterday afternoon after eight hours and 58 minutes of deliberation.

ALSO READ: New Sainsbury's to open on Frideswide Square

Following the verdicts the Honourable Sir John Royce, presiding judge in the case, recommended three student medics, Harry Sop, Dani Bennett and Richard Baxendale, for commendations and praised their 'instant bravery' in coming to Mr Sheldon's aid before an ambulance arrived at the scene.

He said: "But for their speedy actions Mr Sheldon would not have survived."

Speaking after the verdict, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Kevin Parsons, of Force CID based at Oxford, described the attacks as 'completely senseless' and 'unprovoked', saying: “This case highlights the dangers of knife crime. In a group of four young people, one was carrying a knife."

He added: “I would like to pay tribute to the victims for supporting our investigation and providing evidence in court to see the offenders brought to justice.

ALSO READ: Woman groped while she stood at bus stop

“Both were subjected to intimidation and fear. One of the victims suffered serious injuries and I would like to thank them for supporting our investigation.

“I would like to pay tribute to the witnesses who assisted the victim with his serious injuries, without their immediate intervention there is little doubt that the victim would have died from his injuries."

A sentencing date for Broster and the 16-year-old has been adjourned for pre-sentence reports to be carried out.