Peter Duncan murder: Boy admits Eldon Square screwdriver killing

Peter Duncan Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Peter Duncan’s family described him as a “devoted father and husband”

A 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to murdering a lawyer with a screwdriver.

Peter Duncan, 52, was attacked outside a branch of Greggs in Newcastle city centre’s Eldon Square shopping centre on 14 August.

Police said it was a chance “coming together” with a group of youths.

The teenager, who cannot be named, appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video link and also admitted stealing screwdrivers from Poundland and carrying an offensive weapon.

He will be sentenced in December following the preparation of psychiatric and psychological reports.

In a statement released following his death, Mr Duncan’s family said he was a “kind and caring man who was always first to help others”.

“His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all,” they added.

Det Ch Insp Jane Fairlamb, from Northumbria Police, said it was a “shocking incident, in which a much-loved family man was murdered in an unprovoked attack”.

At a previous hearing, it was said Mr Duncan was “simply in the wrong place at the wrong time” when he crossed paths with the teenager who had a history of violence and carrying knives.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Police cordoned off the entrance to Eldon Square close to where the stabbing occurred

The pair came into contact at the entrance to the shopping centre when they were walking in opposite directions.

The court was told the teenager was looking for another youth with whom he had previously argued about cigarettes.

Mr Duncan raised his arm to let the youth past, but “the defendant took exception to that” and “a struggle ensued,” prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said.

After pushing the youngster off, Mr Duncan was stabbed once through the heart and collapsed a short distance away.

The attack was captured on CCTV, and cameras also tracked the teen’s movements through the city centre.

He had 17 convictions for 31 offences between 2017 and 2019, including an incident where he grabbed a knife during a family argument and an occasion where he threatened a bus driver with a blade after he was challenged about drinking alcohol.

At the time of the murder, he was on bail for affray.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Officers searched the area outside the shopping centre in the hunt for the murder weapon

Mr Duncan was working as legal counsel in the Newcastle office of Royal IHC Limited, and previously as a solicitor and legal advisor with other companies in Darlington and Newcastle.

He had trained as an electrical engineer before graduating from Northumbria University with a law degree in 2003.



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