Appeal For Calm After Jack Murder

18 July 2016, 10:00

The family of a teenage boy killed in Bournemouth have appealed for calm as police freed on bail four people arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Relatives of 17-year-old Jack Gudge have called for people ``not to take matters into their own hands'' following his death, police said.

Officers called to reports of a fight found Jack unconscious outside a Tesco Express on Wimborne Road.

He was taken to Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning and was declared dead, Dorset Police said.

A post-mortem examination indicated he had suffered a brain injury, but tests were unable to provide an exact cause of death. Further examinations are now due to take place.

Dozens of flowers have been left at the scene as tributes poured in on social media using the Twitter hashtag #ripgudge.

One wrote: "I'd happily swap places with you, Jack. Miss you too much.'' Another said: ``Can't even begin to imagine the pain his close friends and family are in now. This has impacted so many people.''

In a posting on Facebook, Josh Gudge wrote: "RIP Jack Gudge. You were (the) best cousin anyone could have. I will miss you so much. I love you xx''

The teenager's family have appealed for the community to remain calm, said Chief Inspector Mike Claxton, of Bournemouth police.

He urged people to show restraint when posting comments linked to the inquiry on social media. And he warned against issuing threats against anyone on police bail.

Mr Claxton said: "It is understandable that people will wish to express their upset and offer sympathies to Jack's family at this sad time.

"However, posting well-intended but inappropriate comments on social media could cause problems with the investigation in the future.

"This includes any comments that could be deemed threatening towards those on police bail or proved to be inaccurate that could prejudice the ongoing investigation.

"This is particularly the case if you personally know the people involved or if you have provided any information to the police that may form part of any future court case.''

Mr Claxton added: "This tragic incident has understandably shocked and upset the whole community and I send my condolences to the family and friends of Jack.

"Jack's family have asked that, out of respect for him, everyone remains calm and for people not to take matters into their own hands. His family has also asked to be allowed time to grieve in private.

"I would like to reassure the public that we have an expert team investigating the circumstances surrounding Jack's death and we continue to support the family throughout this difficult time.

"We appreciate everyone's help with the investigation including those people that have already come forward and spoken to police and to those who have responsibly shared our social media appeals.''

Three men aged 27, 24 and 23, and a 15-year-old boy, all from the Bournemouth area, who were arrested on suspicion of murder have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said: "Jack's family has been updated with the developments of the investigation by specially trained officers and our thoughts continue to be with them at this time.''

Witnesses and anyone with information are asked to call Dorset Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


From Press Association