Teenagers Guilty Of Murder
Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering Chris Poole in Eastbourne.
Shane Noble, 19, of no fixed address, and Joe Chapman, 15, formerly of Iden Street, Eastbourne, were found guilty on 6 February following a three week trial at Lewes Crown Court. They have been remanded for sentencing on 15 March.
Following their conviction the judge lifted the Section 39 order under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 allowing Joe to be named but not photographed.
The court had heard that Mr Poole, 46, had gone to the Premier convenience store in The Hydneye on the evening of 16 August and on leaving the shop he became involved in an altercation with a group of teenage boys.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, who headed a Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team investigation, said: "What happened next was horrific. Mr Poole was left with fatal injuries after being viciously punched and kicked to the head. The attack can only be described as a senseless act of violence.
"There were a number of people in the area at the time and I want to thank them and the community for their support to our investigation.
"Our thoughts are very much with Mr Poole's family who have sat through the trial with great dignity, hearing very distressing evidence about what happened that night. I hope the verdict brings them some comfort."
Chief Inspector Steve Biglands, Eastbourne district commander, said: "This was a tragic incident that shocked the community and our thoughts are with Mr Poole's family.
"We are working closely with partners to swiftly and effectively deal with any antisocial behaviour. There are many ways in which communities can report incidents which impact upon them - through the police, council, their neighbourhood panels and local neighbourhood teams. Our response may be to simply increase patrols or take direct action. Working with the community and encouraging them to report any antisocial behaviour has led a number of successful actions and prosecutions, anti social behaviour orders and injunctions. Together, working with the appropriate agencies, we aim to tackle issues where people are suffering in the community."
"There will be a consultation event in Hampden Park in the near future, in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council, to address any concerns the community may have following this tragic incident."
Chris Poole's brother Rick, commenting on the verdict, said:
"Thanks to the justice system of this country the two accused have been found guilty of the crime they committed, which as far as we're concerned was the only possible outcome.
"They showed no remorse for their action and all who were there on that fateful night will live with this on their conscience forever.
"In time to come they will be free again and maybe they would have learnt their lesson. We, the family, will never be free of our pain and suffering.
"We would like to thank Sussex Police for its meticulous and thorough hard work in bringing these criminals to justice. Also for the professional but caring and sensitive dedication they have shown us since that first terrible day. We also wish to thank our prosecuting counsel - Mr Farmer for his excellent work and commitment to the case from the outset. We would also like to thank Nick May, Wendy Burton, Clinton Novelle, Andy Mountford-Laker, Hannah Rayner and Alli Mundi for their tireless efforts in making sure we were all protected and cared for throughout this ordeal.
"Christopher's life was taken from us by two ruthless people and all those who knew him are united in the grief we feel at the loss of a wonderful son, brother and friend who leaves behind a heartbroken partner Penny and her four children."