Teenager admits murdering lawyer with screwdriver outside Greggs

Jon Sharman
Peter Duncan, who was stabbed to death in Newcastle: PA

A teenager has admitted murdering a lawyer with a screwdriver as he walked through a busy shopping centre on his way home from work.

Peter Duncan suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest as he walked into Eldon Square shopping mall in Newcastle, close to a Greggs shop, on 18 August.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared via a videolink to admit murder, as well as stealing screwdrivers from Poundland and possessing an offensive weapon.

At Leeds Crown Court Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told the boy, who is being held at HMP Wetherby, that he would be sentenced in December after psychiatric and psychological reports are prepared.

Northumbria Police said last month that the murder had been unprovoked and described it as a “chance encounter”. The force swiftly arrested a group of teenagers in the hours after the attack.

At a previous hearing, it was said that 52-year-old 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.

The pair were walking in opposite directions at the entrance to the shopping centre when Mr Duncan raised his arm to let the boy pass, the court was previously told.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told a previous bail hearing: “The defendant took exception to that, took hold of the deceased and a struggle ensued.”

Mr Duncan managed to push the teenager way, at which point the youth stabbed him once in the heart. The older man managed to walk a short distance before collapsing.

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

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Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb said in a statement after the case: “This was a shocking incident in which a much-loved family man was murdered in an unprovoked attack after a chance encounter.

Mr Duncan worked as a lawyer for a multi-national maritime firm and lived in the Benton area of Newcastle.

His family described him as “a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him”.

They added: “His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives. Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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