Boy, 16, found guilty of murdering man on night out in Clacton
- Credit: Essex Police/Supplied by the family
A 16-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering a 21-year-old man in Clacton.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, was convicted of murdering Harry Burkett on September 11, last year following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Wednesday, March 2.
Mr Burkett, from Grays, had arranged to meet up with friends in Clacton-on-Sea on Saturday, September 11.
He and three other friends headed into town for a night out but parted company after he was denied entry to a nightclub, having forgotten his ID.
Mr Burkett and another man walked into town where they started talking to a young woman and man who were local to the area.
Shortly afterwards, they were joined by friends of the woman and man and initially, everyone appeared to be getting on.
It is unclear what happened next, but it is thought that a disagreement took place between Mr Burkett and one other, which led to a chase.
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Mr Burkett was confronted by the suspect in Orwell Road where he was stabbed with a knife.
He managed to escape but collapsed in Station Road at the junction with Rosemary Road, where he was found by two passers-by who gave first aid until the emergency services arrived.
Mr Burkett soon became unresponsive and died shortly afterwards in hospital in the early hours of Sunday, September 12.
A post mortem found Mr Burkett's cause of death was a single stab wound and a murder investigation was launched by the Major Crime Department.
After hours of extensive viewing of the town centre CCTV cameras, detectives pieced together the movements of the 21-year-old and his friend, with the footage capturing the moment he was stabbed.
Detectives located the suspect at an Ipswich address and arrested him on September 15.
The 16-year-old was charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon, remanded in custody and appeared at Chelmsford Youth Court two days later.
He denied murdering Mr Burkett, claiming self-defence.
Speaking after the verdict today, Mr Burkett's family said: "We will always remember, Harry, our handsome boy who had the brightest blue eyes ever, that lit up and sparkled when he talked to you.
“Harry would always light up the room with his infectious smile and he often had a one-liner 'dad' joke to keep us all amused.
“He’s no longer here with us, but that doesn’t make him a forgotten part of our family. Harry will always be here with us, in heart and spirit.”
The family paid tribute to the loving, caring young man he had become – that he was loved by all his aunties, uncles, cousins, sisters and nan, but just as important, they were proud of how he loved them in return.
Leading the murder investigation, Detective Inspector Kev Hughes said: “My immediate thoughts are with Harry’s family and friends.
“I know today’s verdict will be little consolation for the loss of their loved one and nothing can bring Harry back.
“But I am proud to have led the investigation and proud of my team’s dedication to securing justice for Harry.
“The young man convicted of Harry’s murder was carrying a knife and claimed he was acting in self-defence.
“There is never, ever any justification to carry a knife. He knows that now.”
The 16 year-old is due to be sentenced at a later date.