A teenager has been convicted of the murder of Harry Burkett in Clacton thanks to work by specialist detectives.
The 16-year-old was convicted of 21 year-old Harry’s murder today, Wednesday 2 March following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Harry had arranged to meet up with friends in Clacton-on-Sea on Saturday 11 September.
Harry’s friend drove the two from Grays to the friends’ house.
The foursome headed into town for a night out but they parted company after Harry was declined entry to a nightclub, having forgotten his ID.
The two men walked into town: the two women returned to the club.
Harry and his friend enjoying their night out before he was attacked
Whilst in the town, Harry and his friend started talking to a young woman and man who were local to the area. Shortly afterwards, they were joined by friends of the woman and man and initially everyone appeared to be getting on.
It is unclear what happened next, but it is thought that a disagreement took place between Harry and one other, which led to a chase.
Harry was confronted by the suspect in Orwell Road where he was stabbed with a knife.
Harry managed to escape but collapsed in Station Road at the junction with Rosemary Road where he was found by two passers-by. The kind Samaritans [administered first aid] until the emergency services arrived.
Harry soon became unresponsive and died shortly afterwards in hospital in the early hours of Sunday 12 September.
A post mortem found Harry’s cause of death was a single stab wound and a murder investigation was launched by our Major Crime Department.
Paying tribute at the time, Harry’s sisters explained how they would miss him.
Abbie Elliott, 17, said: “You’re always going to be in my heart” while Brooke Elliott, 14, added: “When I think about him now, I am filled with happiness because Harry was rarely sad and was such a bubbly character.”
After hours of extensive viewing of the town centre CCTV cameras, detectives pieced together the movements of Harry and his friend, with CCTV capturing the moment Harry was stabbed.
Detectives investigating, located the suspect at an Ipswich address and arrested him on September 15.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon, remanded in custody and appeared at Chelmsford Youth Court two days later.
He denied murdering Harry, claiming self-defence.
Today, the 16-year-old has been convicted of his murder.
Speaking after the verdict, Harry’s family had this to say:
“We will always remember, Harry, our handsome boy who had the brightest blue eyes ever, that lit up and sparkled when he talked to you.
“Harry would always light up the room with his infectious smile and he often had a one-liner “dad” joke to keep us all amused.
“He’s no longer here with us, but that doesn’t make him a forgotten part of our family. Harry will always be here with us, in heart and spirit.”
They paid tribute to the loving, caring young man Harry had become – that he was loved by all his aunties, uncles, cousins, sisters and nan, but just as important, they were proud how Harry loved them in return.
The family attended each day of the trial and listened as Harry’s last moments were played out in harrowing detail.
Leading the murder investigation, Detective Inspector Kev Hughes, Major Crime Department, said:
“My immediate thoughts are with Harry’s family and friends.
“I know today’s verdict will be little consolation for the loss of their loved one and nothing can bring Harry back.
“But I am proud to have led the investigation and proud of my team’s dedication to securing justice for Harry.
“The young man convicted of Harry’s murder was carrying a knife and claimed he was acting in self-defence.
“There is never, ever any justification to carry a knife. He knows that now.”