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Darlington murder

September 08 2010
Two teens have been charged with the murder of rough sleeper George Akers

Two 15-year-old boys have been charged with the murder of George Akers, who was found beaten to death in a churchyard in the north-east of England.

The body of Mr Akers, 59, was found in the grounds of St Cuthbert's Church, Darlington, on 12 June. A local police appeal for information enabled officers to make the arrests within a few weeks.

The two boys, also both from Darlington, were arrested and later charged with his murder, Durham Police said. They were found guilty of murder at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on 27 June but are yet to be sentenced. The identity of criminals under the age of 16 is protected by law.

Mr Akers was a local man who had been sleeping rough for some time. Police said he was a familiar figure to many people in Darlington, often stopping to talk to people and offering out sweets and cigarettes.

"Those who knew him spoke well of him. He had never been in trouble with the police and, sadly, seems to have been one of those people who just slipped through the net of regular society," said DCI Paul Goundry, the deputy senior investigating officer.

In their appeal for information, the police said Mr Akers was born and bred in Hurworth, near Durham.

A post-mortem examination showed he had sustained multiple internal injuries.

The Pavement reported briefly upon this death in our last issue, and has been contacted by readers moved by the cruelty and pointlessness of his death.