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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 13:29 GMT
Boys detained over store murder
Three schoolboys have been ordered to be detained after being found guilty of murdering a man outside a supermarket.

Scott Osborne, 30, died after being beaten by the youths following a row at a Tesco superstore in Lewisham, south London, in November 2002.

The youths, who were 15 and 16 at the time of the attack, were found guilty at the Old Bailey in December.

Judge Brian Barker sentenced the boys to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, serving a minimum nine years.

On Friday, the judge told the youths: "This was a cowardly piece of gang behaviour.

'Kicked like a football'

"Scott Osborne died a sad and unnecessary death. He may have been affected by drink and been acting strangely but he did not cause you any real harm."

He also said he accepted they had not intended to kill Mr Osborne, but the teenagers had targeted the 30-year-old and amused themselves with him before it became more serious.

Judge Barker added: "Each of you could have walked away but you chose not to."

Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, said Mr Osborne had a borderline personality disorder and also suffered from depression and blackouts.

The court had heard the confrontation in the supermarket began when blood from a cut on Mr Osborne's hand dripped near the till.

It continued in the car park where the 30-year-old was pushed into a bush and kicked by the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He ran after them but was punched to the ground and kicked again.

Two of the youths ran off but the court heard that one of them jumped on the man's stomach and kicked him "like a football".

After hearing the victim had died, one of the boys went to his local police station and the two others were detained at their school.


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