Teenager guilty of murder after stabbing boy, 17, he'd never met to death on dance floor at end-of-term party

4 June 2024, 16:19 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 16:29

Charlie Cosser, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was stabbed three times in the chest at a rural farmhouse as the teenagers celebrated the end of the school term on 23 July 2023.
Charlie Cosser, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was stabbed three times in the chest at a rural farmhouse as the teenagers celebrated the end of the school term on 23 July 2023. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle De Wolfe

A teenager has been found guilty of murder after stabbing a schoolboy he'd never met on the dance floor at his end-of-term party.

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Charlie Cosser, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was stabbed three times in the chest at a rural farmhouse as the teenagers celebrated the end of the school term on 23 July 2023.

The 16-year-old defendant was found guilty of murder and having a bladed article after a unanimous decision by the jury on Tuesday at Brighton Crown Court.

The defendant, who was 16 at the time of the attack and cannot be named for legal reasons, was not known to the defendant, the court heard.

The youth chose not to give evidence in the trial but denied murdering Charlie and having a bladed article.

Members of Charlie's family, who attended court every day, cried and hugged each other as the verdicts were given.

Charlie Cosser, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was stabbed three times in the chest at a rural farmhouse as the teenagers celebrated the end of the school term on 23 July 2023.
Charlie Cosser, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was stabbed three times in the chest at a rural farmhouse as the teenagers celebrated the end of the school term on 23 July 2023. Picture: Alamy

The court heard how a fight broke out between Charlie and two other boys at the party, which took place at Warnham, West Sussex, after the defendant was asked to leave.

The defendant then proceeded to stab the teenager in the chest three times with the blade.

The court was shown footage of the incident after a partygoer, who was filming friends dancing, unwittingly took a video of the fight.

The court was also told the defendant accepted that he burned the clothes he was wearing at the party in a firepit in the garden, because he said they were covered in his own blood.

He originally pleaded guilty to murder during his first appearance at Lewes Crown Court on July 28 last year, but before being sentenced he successfully applied to withdraw his guilty plea, prompting the trial to take place.

The teen now faces life imprisonment following the guilty verdict.

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Police and crime scene investigators were later pictured cordoning off the marquee at the BalFest event where the incident took place.

A friend of the defendant said the teenager had drunk an "excessive amount" of vodka and appeared "angry" after an older man had unsuccessfully tried to make him leave the party because of his apparent behaviour towards a young woman.

The court was shown footage of the incident after a partygoer, who was filming friends dancing, unwittingly took a video of the fight.
The court was shown footage of the incident after a partygoer, who was filming friends dancing, unwittingly took a video of the fight. Picture: Handout

The witness described hearing "arguing" and "shouting" inside the marquee before the defendant and others started fighting.

Later, the young man found the defendant beside to the road with his hands and trousers "covered in blood".

The young man and another friend of the defendant also said they heard him say "I've stabbed someone".

Mr Cosser was still conscious when police arrived at 00:30 BST, and was able to tell officers his name and address, the court heard.

The teenager suffered a cardiac arrest en route to hospital.

He died two days later, on 25 July.

The defendant will now be sentenced on June 19.

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