Teenager admits murdering lawyer in screwdriver stabbing

A 17-year-old has admitted murdering a much-loved lawyer who was stabbed with a screwdriver as he walked through a busy shopping centre on his way home from work.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 1:18 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 4:39 pm
Peter Duncan, 52, who died after he was attacked near Old Eldon Square in Newcastle.

Devoted father Peter Duncan, 52, suffered a fatal chest wound as he walked into Eldon Square in Newcastle, on August 18.

The youth, who cannot be named due to his age, appeared via videolink from HMP Wetherby to admit murder, as well as stealing screwdrivers from Poundland and possessing an offensive weapon.

The murderer wore headphones for the case which was linked to Leeds Crown Court where the judge and prosecution barrister were sitting, and to Newcastle Crown Court where his defence barrister was present.

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A community support officer stands guard at the cordon which was put around Old Eldon Square following the death of Peter Duncan. Photo by Press Association.

He will be sentenced in December after psychiatric and psychological reports are prepared.

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

Mr Duncan worked as a lawyer for a multi-national maritime firm.

At a previous bail hearing, prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said Mr Duncan and his killer came into contact with each other by chance at the entrance to the shopping centre, when they were walking in opposite directions.

Police officers conduct a search near to Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, on August 16, following the death of Peter Duncan. Photo by Press Association.

The teenager had stolen the screwdrivers and was looking for another youth with whom he had previously argued about cigarettes.

Mr Wardlaw said: "The deceased raised his arm to let the defendant get past.

"It is captured on CCTV footage.

"The defendant took exception to that, took hold of the deceased and a struggle ensued."

Police officers conduct a search near to Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, as part of inquiries. Photo by Press Association.

Mr Duncan managed to push the teenager off, at which point the youth stabbed him once in the heart.

He managed to walk a short distance away before he collapsed to the floor.

At the previous bail hearing, Newcastle Crown Court heard the teenager 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 the threatened a driver with a blade after he was challenged about drinking alcohol on the bus.

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