A JURY has reached its verdicts following the trial of two men charged in connection with the death of a Reading man earlier this year. 

Yannick Cupido, 24, was fatally stabbed just after midnight on Valentine’s Day earlier this year after an altercation with O’Neal Joseph. 

Joseph, 28, of Amersham Road, Reading, was charged with murder, a charge he denied. 

Reece Weatherburn, 22, of Nire Road, Reading, was charged with two counts of assisting an offender after Joseph hid at his Reading home in the hours after Cupido’s death. 

After a three-week trial, the jury returned its verdicts following more than seven hours of deliberation.

O’Neal Joseph was found guilty of murder. 

Reece Weatherburn was found guilty of two counts of assisting an offender. 

READ MORE: Man made Valentine's day plans with woman hours after murder

Both men will be sentenced tomorrow on Wednesday, November 24.

At the start of the trial, the court heard how Joseph sent Cupido a text message saying he would kill him hours before he fatally stabbed him.

The two became embroiled in a row after Cupido played a prank on Joseph, falsely telling him their mutual friend Reece Weatherburn had been jailed for stabbing someone.

Weatherburn had entertained Cupido at his flat on Saturday, February 13 where they drank cider and vodka.

Cupido had initially text Weatherburn’s ex-partner telling her his friend had been arrested, before she text Joseph about the rumour.

Joseph tried to call Weatherburn but his inability to reach him made him ‘angry and frustrated’ and this led to him sending a flurry of heated messages on his phone.

READ MORE: Killer cries in court after recalling moment he stabbed man

A message to Cupido read: “On my kids life if something happens to r1 [a nickname for Weatherburn] and you just hung up on me and didn’t tell me where he is I’m going to fucking kill you yk."

Cupido left Weatherburn’s address at 11.30pm and Joseph had left his partner’s house with a large kitchen knife.

The victim headed from Reading towards Lower Caversham where he was intercepted by Joseph, a court heard.

They met outside the Best One shop on Nire Road where the pair argued and Cupido allegedly headbutted Joseph. 

Joseph then stabbed him in the chest with the kitchen knife he had brought him.

Cupido ran off down Managua Close, but collapsed almost immediately afterwards because of his injury.

He died shortly at the Royal Berkshire Hospotal at 1.24am. 

In a voice note to an ex-girlfriend, Joseph told the woman he “shanked” Cupido because he headbutted him and he ‘bust his lip’. 

READ MORE: Trial delayed after coronavirus issues

Joseph met Weatherburn on Cow Lane in Reading at 3.13am and laid low at his flat on Battle Square until 8am.

That morning, the pair split up and Weatherburn was questioned by police at his mother’s house.

He did not tell them he knew Joseph stabbed Cupido and in a formal statement given later that day, described the slain 24-year-old as his ‘best friend’, and said his death as ‘completely random’.

Prosecutor Mr Walsh said Weatherburn was 'deliberately misleading and deliberately vague' and if he had told them what happened he would have 'greatly assisted police' 

Later in the trial, Joseph told a jury he accepted fatally stabbing Cupido but said he did not mean to kill him. 

He claimed he anticipated an argument with the victim and had brought a large kitchen knife with him to ‘protect himself.’

Describing their meeting outside Best One shop, Joseph said Cupido headbutted him either side of ‘pushing and shoving’ between them. 

Joseph said Cupido had a bottle with him and that he made a motion with it ‘like he was going to stab’ him. 

Asked what happened next, Joseph said he used the knife “as a reaction” and “stabbed” Yannick Cupido.

The defendants learned the jury’s verdicts at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, November 23.