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Newcastle teenager sentenced for murder of devoted father

|News, Violent crime

A Newcastle teenager has today been sentenced to life with a minimum of 15 years for the murder of a devoted father-of-two during an unprovoked attack in a busy shopping centre.

Ewan Ireland, 18, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the murder of Peter Duncan, 52. In August this year Ireland, then 17, shoplifted screwdrivers from a local Poundland store. Minutes later, he was waiting at the doors of Eldon Square shopping centre in what witnesses described as an ‘agitated’ manner.

Peter Duncan, who was unknown to his attacker, had been on his way to catch a bus home when he accidentally collided with Ireland. Ireland immediately turned on Peter and attacked him, pulling a screwdriver from his pocket during a scuffle and fatally striking him in the chest.

Jill Harrison of the CPS said: “The murder of Peter Duncan in August this year was met with understandable shock by people across Newcastle. As a devoted family man, Peter wanted only to catch a bus home after work and tragically found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“In his path stood Ewan Ireland, with whom Peter accidentally collided in his desire to get home and see his family. Ireland’s response was swift and vicious, wrestling with Peter before delivering a fatal blow to his chest with a stolen screwdriver.

“I would like to praise the response of Northumbria Police in the wake of this attack. Through their swift action they secured the vital eyewitness accounts, CCTV and forensic evidence that have enabled the Crown Prosecution Service to build a robust case against Ewan Ireland.

“The overwhelming evidence against him has resulted in his early guilty plea to these offences, sparing the grieving family of Peter Duncan from the further trauma of a lengthy trial. We sincerely hope that the sentence passed on Ewan Ireland today provides some measure of comfort to Peter’s family. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”

Notes to editors

  • Jill Harrison is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East
  • Ewan Ireland pleaded guilty at a hearing on 16/9/19 to charges of murder, theft and having an offensive weapon
  • He was sentenced as follows:
    • Murder - Life sentence - (detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure) minimum term - 15 years - served 120 days so + 14 years & 245 days
    • Theft of Screwdriver - 1 month
    • Possession of offensive weapon - 6 months
    • For a further charge of Affray (22.06.18) - 6 months, all to run concurrently

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