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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 15:49 GMT
Teenager jailed for party murder
Michael Morgan (picture from Sussex Police)
Michael Morgan was bludgeoned to death while he slept
A teenager who admitted murdering his friend after a party at a West Sussex caravan park has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years.

Kieran Wright, 17, used two kitchen knives and a table leg studded with a screw to kill Michael Morgan, 15.

Wright, who had been drinking and smoking cannabis, inflicted 30 injuries to Michael's head and neck.

Lewes Crown Court was told the attack happened while Michael was sleeping in the caravan in Lancing on 1 July.

The court was told the party at the site in Brighton Road was generally light-hearted.

Only those who have lost a child in these circumstances can appreciate the suffering
Judge Richard Brown

But there had been a flashpoint when Wright, who was 16 at the time, was punched as he tried to break up an argument between a girl and her boyfriend.

Prosecutor Charles Miskin QC said Wright later carried out the murder "for no better reason than ill temper fired up by drink and an amount of cannabis".

Wright, of Adelaide Square, Shoreham, at first denied murdering Michael.

He eventually pleaded guilty after evidence was disclosed to him, including the discovery of his foot and palm print stained in his friend's blood.

"He said he couldn't say why he killed Michael but that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Mr Miskin.

Kieran Wright (picture from Sussex Police)
Kieran Wright had been drinking and smoking cannabis

There was no evidence of a dispute between Wright and Michael, who was in care but in daily contact with his natural mother in Shoreham.

Wright, who had previous convictions for assault, pleaded guilty at Thursday's hearing.

Defending, Paul Dunkels QC, said Wright had a troubled relationship with his family and was a difficult teenager with a low IQ.

"The defendant has admitted his guilt by saying he is sorry for what he has done," he said.

"He realises that many have been affected by what he did, profoundly affected by his actions, particularly Michael Morgan's family."

Judge Richard Brown, who sentenced Wright to detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure, said the murder was an "appalling act of wanton violence".

"Only those who have lost a child in these circumstances can appreciate the suffering," he said.

Boy in court over caravan death
14 Jul 07 |  Sussex

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