‘It was coming to him’: What gang of teenagers ‘shouted after stabbing married lawyer, 52, to death with a screwdriver outside a branch of Greggs’
- Peter Duncan, 52, suffered a single puncture wound in the unprovoked attack
- Witnesses at the shopping centre heard people shouting ‘it was coming to him’
- Police arrested seven youths on suspicion of murder after attack in Newcastle
Peter Duncan, 52, pictured, was stabbed to death last night outside a shopping centre in Newcastle. Seven teenagers have been arrested in connection with his murder
A lawyer was stabbed to death with a screwdriver by a gang of teenage boys at a busy shopping centre.
Peter Duncan, 52, suffered a single puncture wound in the unprovoked attack following a chance encounter which lasted ‘three seconds’, near a branch of Greggs.
Witnesses at the shopping centre near Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, heard people shouting ‘it was coming to him’ and ‘he was going to get it’ shortly after the stabbing.
Minutes earlier, it was claimed a woman was punched by a man yards from the spot – though it is not clear whether the two attacks are linked.
Mr Duncan, who was married and a ‘devoted father’, was taken to Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday.
Northumbria Police arrested seven youths – one aged 14, two 15 and four 17 – on suspicion of murder and they remain in custody.
After the stabbing, Mr Duncan was seen lying ‘on the floor clutching his chest’ before ambulances arrived at 6.20pm.
One witness caught up in the attack was found shaking when she attempted to lock herself inside a nearby restaurant.
Shopkeeper Muhammad Ali, 37, said: ‘The man was arguing with the gang, they tried to hit him. It looked like [he] was trying to get in the middle of a row.’
Police officers conduct a search near to Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, where a 52-year-old man was assaulted outside a branch of Greggs on Wednesday and later died in hospital
Chief Superintendent Ged Noble said the area was busy with shoppers and people going home from work at the time of the unprovoked attack
Police confirmed the dead man was a victim of an unprovoked attack
Police were searching drains in Old Eldon Square, the site of the city’s war memorial, for evidence yesterday.
It was claimed Mr Duncan was followed into the Eldon Square shopping centre following an ‘altercation’ with the gang.
One witness who said they saw the group after the attack claimed ‘they did not seem too bothered’.
Mr Duncan described himself in an online CV as legal counsel for Royal IHC Limited, a firm involved in the offshore industry with an office a stone’s throw from the site of the attack.
He was previously an electronic engineer, but retrained at Northumbria University as a solicitor.
Mr Duncan’s family said in a statement: ‘Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.
Police officers conduct a search near to Old Eldon Square, in Newcastle
Specialist search teams have been looking in nearby bins hoping to find additional evidence
Chief Superintendent Noble said extra police patrols would take place in the area
The incident happened at the entrance to the Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle
‘He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him. His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives.’
Witnesses described how the attackers had tried to punch Mr Duncan before the stabbing.
Muhammad Ali, 37, who works in the shopping centre, said: ‘There were lots of people coming inside and shouting off. The man was wearing glasses and they tried to hit him. They were arguing. Then within three seconds they left.’
Stephen Humphries, 34, a waiter, added: ‘There was a group of people around the guy on the floor, clutching his chest. There was a group of young lads running around shouting, they did not seem too bothered.
‘The young lads were swearing and saying ‘he was going to get it’ and ‘it was coming to him’.’
A woman was reportedly punched at the shopping centre just minutes before the attack.
Louis Almeida, a chef, said: ‘I saw a couple arguing. She was a younger lady. The girl got hit. It looked like she got knocked out. She got straight back up though.’
Chief Superintendent Ged Noble said the inquiry into Mr Duncan’s death is at an early stage but said it appears he was attacked at the entrance to the shopping centre.
He added: ‘We have very quickly made seven arrests. The persons involved are known to us.’