Teenager Dies After Attack In Rottingdean

A 14-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a friend of former X Factor star Frankie Cocozza.

The teenager, from Brighton, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of killing Connor Saunders, 19, who died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Sunday morning after an argument in the street on Saturday night.

Mr Saunders, of Downsway, Woodingdean, Brighton, is believed to have received a forceful punch during an altercation between two groups of people in West Street, Rottingdean, East Sussex, between 10.30pm and 10.55pm on Saturday.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Saunders died from injuries consistent with trauma to the head.

Ramon Pape, defending the boy, told Brighton Magistrates' Court, which sat as a youth court, that this was a tragic case.

He added that the defence case would be that the teenager had acted in self-defence.

District Judge Peter Crabtree remanded the boy to local authority accommodation with conditions including a curfew from 6pm to 6am.

He is also not allowed to contact potential witnesses or enter Brighton and Hove, Rottingdean, Woodingdean and Peacehaven unless accompanied by a member of the youth offending service or someone from the local authority, the court was told.

He will next appear at Brighton Youth Court on May 15, where his case will be committed to crown court.

Two boys, aged 13 and 14, who were arrested on suspicion of murder have been bailed until May 8.

After Mr Saunders' death, Cocozza tweeted: "My life will never be the same.''

He began the message with the #cs26 hashtag, which has been used by Sussex Police in messages about the incident.

He also used the social networking site to ask people to join the Saunders family at Tesco in Rottingdean on Monday night, at the spot where the teenager was killed, to say a prayer for his friend.

Peacehaven and Telscombe Football Club released a statement saying they had lost a "wonderful person and talented footballer''.

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