Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 19:05 UK

Boys convicted of killing woman

Lewis Hayward, 14, and Alex Young, 17 (left to right)
Lewis Hayward and Alex Young are to be sentenced at a later date

Two teenagers have been convicted of killing a 24-year-old woman in Essex after a day of drinking together.

Alex Young, 17, and Lewis Hayward, 14, had denied killing Helen Maughan after finding her drunk near her home in Colchester in May 2007.

Young was convicted of murder while Hayward was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The boys will be sentenced at London's Central Criminal Court on 20 June.

Jurors convicted Young of murder unanimously and found Hayward guilty of manslaughter with a majority verdict.

Young was aged 16 when Miss Maughan was killed, while Hayward was aged 13.

Helen Maughan
Helen Maughan's body was found two days after she disappeared

Miss Maughan vanished on 18 May and her semi-naked body, with 22 separate injuries, was found in the River Colne two days later.

Post-mortem tests showed that she had died from a combination of head injuries and drowning.

The two boys had been caught on CCTV walking towards the river with Miss Maughan in the late evening.

They were then seen returning with Miss Maughan after midnight, about 90 minutes later.

Initially Hayward had lied to police about his whereabouts but later blamed Young for Miss Maughan's death, the court heard.

Judge Bean lifted reporting restrictions, which had previously prohibited the naming of the defendants, following the guilty verdicts.


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