Milton Keynes teenager cleared of Newcastle murder charge

A policeman at the scene of the crime in Newcastle city centre in February
A policeman at the scene of the crime in Newcastle city centre in February

A teenager from Milton Keynes who was standing trial accused of murder has been cleared.

Dairan Browne, 19, stood accused of helping to murder Frankie Cooper, 22, who was stabbed in Newcastle city centre on February 20.

The teenager, who did not wield the weapon but was with a youth at the time of the killing, was cleared of murder and manslaughter by a jury earlier today - the Newcastle Chronicle reports.
Browne, of Shepherds Hay, Oakridge Park, was also found not guilty of wounding with intent on a friend of Frankie's, but admitted a charge of unlawful wounding.

A 17-year-old boy, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was also cleared of murder but has been found guilty of manslaughter, and cannot be named for legal reasons.

The two defendants blamed each other for the attack when interviewed by police.

Browne had sustained a cut to his hand and initially claimed he suffered the injury in an assault but then said it happened while cutting chicken.

Police were called and an officer found the 16-year-old with other young men in nearby Leazes Park and he was arrested.

Items were later found under the driver’s seat of the police car the youth was transported in, including a cap and trousers which appeared to be blood-stained.

Prosecutors say they were the trousers and a cap worn by Browne. The youth later said he had tipped them out of a bag on his way to the police station, the court heard.

The prosecutor said of Browne: “He said that he had been in Newcastle a short time. He had come to Newcastle because he liked the programme Geordie Shore.”

Browne told detectives after the incident: “I didn’t want anybody getting hurt, so I walked over and all I remember is grabbing that knife with my hand, the sharp bit.

“I tried to get it off him. I didn’t get it off him, so I just ran away. I looked at my hand and it was pouring with blood. “I’m just getting across that I’m a victim here. I just want you guys to know that.”