Peter Duncan, 52, was stabbed to death with a screwdriver in Newcastle city centre on August 14
A teenage boy has pleaded guilty to murdering a lawyer with a stolen screwdriver in the middle of a busy city centre.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked Peter Duncan, 52, outside the Greggs Bakery in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle after stealing a ‘quantity of screwdrivers’ from a nearby Poundland earlier that day.
The lawyer and devoted father was rushed to hospital after being stabbed in the chest at 6.20pm on August 14 but later died.
His teenage attacker today pleaded guilty to murder, theft and possession of an offensive weapon via video link from HMP Wetherby at Leeds Crown Court.
Other teenagers were arrested at the scene after members of the public helped to apprehend them.
At a previous bail hearing, prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said Mr Duncan and his killer came into contact with each other by chance at the entrance to the shopping centre, when they were walking in opposite directions.
The teenager had stolen the screwdrivers and was looking for another youth with whom he had previously argued about cigarettes.
Mr Wardlaw said: ‘The deceased raised his arm to let the defendant get past.
‘It is captured on CCTV footage. The defendant took exception to that, took hold of the deceased and a struggle ensued.’
Mr Duncan managed to push the teenager off, at which point the youth stabbed him once in the heart.
He managed to walk a short distance away before he collapsed to the floor.
CCTV camera tracked the youth’s movements through the city centre and the murder weapon was found later.
At the previous bail hearing, Newcastle Crown Court heard he had 17 convictions for 31 offences between 2017 and 2019, including an incident where he grabbed a knife during a family argument and an occasion where the threatened a driver with a blade after he was challenged about drinking alcohol on the bus.
Officers are pictured monitoring the scene in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle the day after the murder
At the time of the murder, the boy was on bail for affray.
Mr Duncan was a lawyer and had worked as legal counsel for companies within the offshore industry.
He was most recently employed by Royal IHC Limited based in Newcastle, just a short distance away from where he was killed.
Prior to that he had worked for almost eight years at DeepOcean UK after studying Law at Northumbria University.
His family previously described him as a ‘devoted father and husband’.
Paying tribute to him, a statement said: ‘Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others. He was loved by all who knew him.
‘His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he will be deeply missed by us all. Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him.’
‘He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day.’
The murderer wore headphones for the case which was linked to Leeds Crown Court where the judge and prosecution barrister were sitting, and to Newcastle Crown Court where his defence barrister was present.
He will be sentenced in December after psychiatric and psychological reports are prepared.
Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told him: ‘The appropriate form and length of your sentence will be decided at the start of December when the necessary reports have been prepared and served on the prosecution and defence.’
Floral tributes with messages of condolence left outside Old Eldon Square shopping centre after Mr Duncan was murdered