Published: 22:15, 01 July 2020
| Updated: 22:17, 01 July 2020
A teenager has been found guilty of manslaughter after the death of a 20-year-old in Bexleyheath.
Ben Lines from Belvedere died in hospital on October 13 last year.
He was stabbed at around 2.48pm in Barnehurst Avenue and was flown to hospital by air ambulance where he died a few hours later.
Today, a 17-year-old appeared at the Old Bailey where he was found guilty of manslaughter and pleaded guilty to ABH.
On the day of his death, the teenager, who was 16 at the time, had arranged to buy drugs from Ben and did not pay. He instead drove away in a car with two other teens.
Ben followed him and the cars later crashed into each other.
A fight broke out between them and local residents called the police. When police arrived a member of the public, an off-duty police officer and paramedics were given Ben first aid on a grass bank area near Merewood Road.
Tyre marks in the grass suggested a nearby black Ford Fiesta had crashed with a tree. Next to the grass was a silver VW Golf that has been abandoned after crashing into a parked vehicle.
Witnesses reported seeing Ben get out of the Fiesta and approach the Golf. The 17-year-old got out of the car and the pair started fighting.
A knife was seen produced from the Golf and Ben was stabbed. The teenager discarded the knife and ran off with the driver.
Local residents tried to detain the boys which lead to a 41-year-old man suffering a cut lip and swollen face after being punched. The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to this assault in court.
He denied any involvement in Ben's death but two days later on October 15 he was charged with murder and ABH.
Detective Inspector Tariq Farooqil, specialist crime (homicide) led the investigation. He said: “This was an incredibly tragic event that led to a young man losing his life. Regardless of the events that led up to Ben’s death, it in no way justifies the violence and the awful events that followed.
“I want to praise the bravery of members from the local community who not only gave evidence at court but also intervened at personal risk to themselves to prevent Ben’s attacker leaving the scene and gave Ben CPR. I hope their actions, alongside the verdict reached by the jury, can be of some comfort to Ben’s family and friends.
“This tragic loss of life sadly further underscores the utter senselessness of knife crime, no good ever comes from carrying a knife. The Met remains committed to tackling knife crime as evidenced by the swift actions of my team to identify, arrest and charge the person responsible for Ben’s death.”
A 16-year-old boy [A] arrested on suspicion of attempted murder has been released with no further action.
A 17-year-old boy [C], was charged with driving offences and ABH. He will stand trial at Magistrates court at a later date.
Anyone with information about crime can contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. It is independent of police, and is 100% anonymous. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call or IP address.
More by this authorAmy Nickalls
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