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Peter Duncan murder: Boy admits Eldon Square screwdriver killing

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

Peter Duncan's family described him as a "devoted father and husband"
Peter Duncan’s family described him as a “devoted father and husband”

Peter Duncan was stabbed outside a Greggs in Newcastle city centre’s Eldon Square shopping centre on 14 August.

The lawyer was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” when he was attacked, according to Northumbria Police.

The boy, who cannot be named, appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video link and also admitted stealing screwdrivers and carrying an offensive weapon. He will be sentenced in December.

A previous hearing was told the teenager had 17 convictions for 31 offences between 2017 and 2019.

On one occasion he grabbed a knife during a family argument and on another he threatened a bus driver with a blade after he was challenged about drinking alcohol.

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

At the previous hearing, the court was told 52-year-old 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.

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 teenager’s movements through the city centre.

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.

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. BBC News