One of the youngest people ever to be charged with murder in Australia has been found guilty of manslaughter over the stabbing of a Perth man following Australia Day celebrations last year.
The young boy, now 13, stood trial in the Perth Children's Court over the past two weeks and it's President, Denis Reynolds, found him not guilty of murder but guilty of unlawful killing.
He was only 11 when, in the early hours of January 27. 2016, he and seven others chased and attacked Mr Slater, who was fatally stabbed with a screwdriver.
The murder was the result of a night of violence down William Street towards the Perth Esplanade in the aftermath of the Australia Day fireworks.
The 11-year-old's group and Mr Slater's group had been involved in three separate fights in three different public locations, and both sides had armed themselves with weapons including bottles, rocks, a star picket and a machete.
Many of the night's events were recorded by CCTV cameras, but the area where Mr Slater was stabbed was not monitored, so it was not known exactly who inflicted the fatal stab wound.
But the 11-year-old was recorded fleeing the scene moments later holding a long object, which prosecutors alleged was the murder weapon.
Judge Reynolds said, 'I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt it was [the boy] who murdered Patrick Slater by stabbing him with a screwdriver.'
He explained that even though the boy was seen holding the screwdriver after Mr Slater's death, the evidence was consistent with someone having given it to him after another person had carried out the fatal stabbing.
'He wasn't anything other than a very young person, only 11 years old, and he simply wanted to maintain a connection with the group, without seeking to be a leader or an influencer,' Judge Reynolds said.
In total eight men and boys, including the 11-year-old, were charged over Mr Slater's death. The group was labelled the 'Patrick Slater slayers' by prosecutors in court.
Six of them, aged between 17 and 29, were found guilty of murder after a six-week Supreme Court trial earlier this year.
Five of them were sentenced to life in prison with minimum terms of between 16 and 18 years, while a sixth male, who was aged 17, was given a 12-year prison sentence.
A seventh teenager, who was 14 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years' detention.
The boy convicted on Friday, who is now 13, has already spent 21 months in juvenile detention awaiting his trial.
He will be sentenced later this month.