October 22nd, 2007 10:32 EST
In the U.K. Youths found guilty of manslaughter
Five youths been found guilty of manslaughter and violent disorder.
The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, each received two years' imprisonment for manslaughter - one year to be served in custody and the other year to remain on license.
The sentencing for the violent disorder offences has been adjourned.
The youths were arrested during an investigation by the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command into the death of Ernest Norton in Erith on 26 February 2006.
Mr Norton was with his son at the Erith Leisure Centre when a group of between 10 and 15 youths approached them and began to shout abuse.
Mr Norton remonstrated with the youths; some walked away but the remainder continued to shout abuse. They then began to throw stones and sticks of wood at Mr Norton and his son. Mr Norton was hit in the head by one of the stones.
An off-duty police officer who had been using the centre attempted to resuscitate Mr Norton, as did a London Ambulance Service paramedic, but he was declared dead at the scene.
A post mortem examination concluded that Mr Norton died from heart failure, aggravated by a previous medical condition and injury to the head.
Detective Inspector Clive Heys said:
"Bringing five boys to high court on a serious charge is something we considered very carefully, together with the Crown Prosecution Service. Their conviction and sentence today is an indication that it was right to do so.
"We hope this will serve as a deterrent to any other youths engaged in violent disorder. It is a tragedy for everyone, but we must remember that Ernest Norton died as a result of name calling, being spat at and a volley of stones thrown at him."
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