THE family of a teenager who died after a street attack have appealed for calm after two others were cleared of his killing.
Rikki Todd, 19, died four days after a street attack in the early hours of Christmas Eve in North Tyneside.
Danny Scott, accused of murder and manslaughter, and Jack Walton, accused of manslaughter, both 18, were acquitted of all charges at Newcastle Crown Court last week.
Now the apprentice engineer’s family are anxious there is no feuding after the verdicts.
Mum Anne, 60, said: “I don’t want people taking the law into their own hands. That will not solve anything.
“Rikki would not have wanted that, and we don’t want anyone to go through this. Let him rest in peace and let them get on with their lives. It won’t help anything.”
The court heard that the events leading up to Rikki’s death involved a joke being made about a boy looking like the pop singer Justin Bieber, which led to arguments and violence in the street outside the Halfway House pub, in Camperdown, where Rikki had been drinking with friends.
Rikki, from Allanville, Camperdown, suffered multiple injuries and a fatal head injury.
In court, Mr Scott insisted he punched the A* student once in self-defence while Mr Walton denied he launched an attack.
Mrs Todd added: “We’re devastated. I can’t tell you what is really going through our heads.
“We half expected this from the beginning – everything seems to have been against us.
“Obviously we are mad, but they have been found not guilty and there is nothing we can do about it.
“They will still be able to enjoy their lives. Rikki can’t. They weren’t even done for grievous bodily harm for any of Rikki’s injuries.”
Retired landscape gardener Jackie, 61, said: “They [the defence team] made Rikki look like something that he wasn’t. It turns my stomach.
“Everybody that knows Rikki knows that he is not a thug and the whole village is behind us.
“I would just like to know why this happened.”
His wife added: “Rikki was never in a fight. He stopped fights, but he was never in them.
“He has been made out to be a vicious thug, and he isn’t.
“It is like his name has been totally blackened.”