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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Four charged with murder of homeless man

7-26-2006 United Kingdom: UPDATED
A 16-year-old girl has been charged with murder following the brutal beating of a homeless man. The teenager, along with three others, is accused of killing Brian Kitching at Southsea seafront last year.

The schoolgirl, from Southsea, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is believed to be one of the youngest ever to be charged with murder in Hampshire. Three others have also been charged with his murder following the attack in which Mr Kitching was set upon by a gang of yobs.

Lewis Hoare, 19, of Samuel Road, Portsmouth, Amie Bartholomew, 19, of no fixed abode, and Paul Dewar, 26, also of no fixed abode, but originally from Taunton, Somerset, are also accused of murder.

Mr Kitching, 68, suffered serious head injuries when he was attacked in the Rock Gardens near the Pyramids on Clarence Esplanade, on September 6, 2005. He was beaten senseless in the attack and lay in a coma at Queen Alexandra Hospital for weeks.

Mr Kitching, who had lived in the Milton area of Portsmouth, suffered multiple broken ribs, a collapsed lung, massive cuts and bruising to his face and bleeding on the brain. He was eventually transferred to a nursing home where he died on March 8 this year.

The two females appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court yesterday afternoon. They were released on bail. The two men appeared before city magistrates today and were remanded in custody. All four will appear at Winchester Crown Court on Monday. ..more.. by The News


Gang 'killed falsely-accused man'

A man was murdered in an unprovoked attack by a gang because one of them falsely accused him of being a paedophile, a court has been told.
4-18-2007 United Kingdom:

Brian Kitching, 68, from Portsmouth, suffered brain damage in the attack in Southsea in September 2005.

Paul Dewar, 27, of no fixed address, Amie Bartholomew, 19, and a girl, 17, both from Portsmouth, denied murder at the Winchester Crown Court trial.

Lewis Hoare, 19, from Portsmouth, has pleaded guilty to murder.

Paedophile taunt

Mr Dewar and Ms Bartholomew also deny causing Mr Kitching grievous bodily harm.

Mr Kitching was walking through a rock garden at Southsea seafront when he was attacked and repeatedly punched and kicked.

The jury was told that one of the gang, Amie Bartholomew, then 18 and pregnant at the time, started the attack when she shouted to Mr Kitching that he was a "dirty paedophile" and punched him.

Anthony Donne QC, prosecuting, said a girl, who was 16 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, Mr Dewar, then 25, and Mr Hoare, then 18, all joined in the attack on Mr Kitching.

One witness said they were kicking him like a football and afterwards they robbed him of his cash, the jury heard.

Victim's 'misfortune'

Mr Kitching died in March 2006 in a nursing home because his brain damage meant he could not cough and he suffocated on his own vomit.

Mr Kitching was not known to the group and there was no evidence at all he was a paedophile.

Mr Donne said he just had the "misfortune" of running into the gang.

Some of the group, who had been drinking heavily, had attacked two other people during the day and, straight after beating Mr Kitching, the two men punched and kicked another man in another unprovoked attack, the court was told.

All four then washed their clothing in the sea but witnesses had recognised some of the group and they were arrested shortly afterwards.

In interview, Mr Dewar said he had not attacked the man and that the others had.

The 16-year-old girl said she kicked Mr Kitching only once and Ms Bartholomew said she had not been involved in the attack and denied calling Mr Kitching a paedophile.

The case was adjourned but is expected to last three weeks. ..more.. by BBC News

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