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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 14:12 GMT
Man jailed for teenager's murder
Peter Connolly (pic from Kent Police)
Peter Connolly, 31, was told he would serve at least 15 years
A painter and decorator found guilty of stabbing to death an 18-year-old teenager on a night out in a Kent town has been jailed for life.

Peter Connolly, 31, of Peckham, south-east London, was told he would serve a minimum of 15 years for murdering Christopher Alaneme.

He was also jailed for 10 years, to run concurrently, for wounding taxi driver Mark Davies in Sheerness in April 2006.

Agatha Alaneme described her son as a devout Christian and role model.

Following the sentencing, she said: "My son Christopher was a wonderful son, brother, grandson and friend who touched the lives of everyone that he met.

"I would also like to add my distress at hearing that my son was a bad character which isn't true."

Christopher Alaneme
The weight of support we received from the local community is indicative of the shockwave this case created
Supt Steve Corbishley

Maidstone Crown Court heard the stabbing followed an alleged racist remark.

But Judge Mr Justice Godring decided that Mr Alaneme was not the victim of a race attack.

The jury was told Mr Alaneme was left dying on a public bench after a knife penetrated his liver.

It followed an incident in which he was chased by a group of men after one of them was rebuked for making a racist comment about him.

The court heard Connolly had been taking drugs and drinking before going into the town centre with friends, already carrying the knife.

Stabbed five times

Mr Davies, who was out celebrating his birthday, was stabbed five times as he got up from a bench outside the Bar One pub to see what was going on.

He received severe injuries which have left him with medical problems he will face for the rest of his life.

Mr Justice Godring told Connolly he "must have contemplated" using the weapon.

"From the beginning, you have not shown the slightest remorse," he said.

Peter Connolly in Sheerness (Picture from Kent Police)
CCTV captured Connolly just before he met Christopher Alaneme

Bank worker Andrew Giblin, 28, of Bromyard House, Commercial Way, Peckham, and Terence Beaney, 25, a plasterer, of Rideout Street, Woolwich, were cleared of both charges on Monday.

Sean Duhig, 23, and Gerry Duhig, 27, both plasterers, of Melbury Drive, Camberwell, were cleared of murder part-way through the trial on the judge's direction.

Following sentencing, police thanked the people of Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey.

"The weight of support we received from the local community is indicative of the shockwave this case created," said Supt Steve Corbishley.

He said people were appalled by the callous nature of the stabbings.

"I would like to thank the community, who... have helped to bring about this successful conviction," he said.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Kent police welcome the verdict



SEE ALSO
Man guilty of teenager's murder
10 Dec 07 |  England
Town 'hit hard' by race killing
26 Apr 06 |  Southern Counties

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