Teenager pleads guilty to murder of lawyer Peter Duncan outside Greggs in Newcastle

16 September 2019, 10:41

Peter Duncan was stabbed to death in Newcastle last month
Peter Duncan was stabbed to death in Newcastle last month. Picture: Collect

By Asher McShane

A teenager has admitted stabbing a lawyer to death with a screwdriver outside a branch of Greggs in Newcastle last month.

Peter Duncan, 52, was stabbed to death in the attack on 6.20pm on August 14.

The youth, 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to murder today.

He also admitted possession of an offensive weapon and theft.

Mr Duncan was stabbed to death as he walked into Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle.

The youth appeared on video link from HMP Wetherby to admit murder, stealing screwdrivers from Poundland, and possessing an offensive weapon.

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb, from Northumbria Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Our thoughts continue to be with Peter Duncan’s family and friends at what is an incredibly difficult time.

“This was a shocking incident, in which a much-loved family man was murdered in an unprovoked attack after a chance encounter.

“I want to make it crystal clear it can never be acceptable for anyone to carry a weapon on our streets – as this case highlights the consequences can be truly devastating.

“I would urge anyone who thinks otherwise to think again. Not only could you destroy someone else’s life and those of their loved ones – but also think of the impact on your life and that of your family and friends.

“I can assure you if you are caught with a weapon you will be dealt with robustly and put before the courts.”

Det Chief Insp Fairlamb added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their support at what has also been an upsetting time for the wider community.

“Incidents of this nature are not what we expect in our towns and cities – and nor should they ever be. I want to assure you we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the streets where we all live and work remain among the safest in the country.”

Peter’s family have previously issued a statement in which they said: “Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.

"He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him. His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all.”

“Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him. He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day.”

Northumbria Police last month said the murder was “unprovoked” and described it as a “chance encounter.”

The killer will be sentenced in December.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told him: "The appropriate form and length of your sentence will be decided at the start of December when the necessary reports have been prepared and served on the prosecution and defence."