Kevin Bennett killing: Three boys guilty of murder

Kevin Bennett Kevin Bennett died in hospital six days after the attack in August 2012

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Three teenage boys who kicked and punched a homeless man to death have been convicted of murder at Liverpool Crown Court.

Kevin Bennett, 53, was attacked near the Iceland supermarket in Walton Road, Liverpool, about 05:30 BST on 17 August.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries but died six days later.

The boys, two aged 14 and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied murdering Mr Bennett.

Linda Doran, 42, of Teulon Close, Liverpool, was also convicted of perverting the course of public justice by providing false alibis for two defendants.

Goaded younger boy

Kevin Bennett's cousin pays tribute to him

All four were remanded in custody for sentencing in the week commencing 15 April.

Trial judge, Recorder Clement Goldstone QC, ordered psychiatric and psychological assessments of the boys to be carried out.

Earlier in the trial the jury was told the 17-year-old had goaded one of the 14-year-olds by saying: "I bet you haven't got it in you to do him in."

The court heard the younger boy later told his friend: "I started kicking him, I booted him and now he's dead."

The second 14-year-old stood look-out as the attack took place, the prosecution said.

Mr Bennett, described as "vulnerable" by the prosecution, suffered a fractured eye socket, a collapsed lung and a broken ribcage.

He died in hospital from blood poisoning after an infection set in, causing organ failure, a post-mortem examination found.

Jailed for photographs

The court was told how Mr Bennett had been in the pub from 11:00 BST on 16 August and had consumed between 10 and 12 cans of lager.

He left just after midnight with more beer in a carrier bag and settled down for the night behind the Iceland store.

He was discovered, injured, by Iceland staff arriving for work at 07:00 BST the next day.

Kevin Bennett was found outside Iceland in Walton Kevin Bennett was found outside Iceland in Walton

Speaking outside court, Mr Bennett's cousin Angela Connerty, 49, said: "Kevin was a loving person who would do anything for anyone - nothing was ever trouble to him.

"We hope nobody else's family have to go through what we have gone through and we are now pleased we have got justice."

During the trial Doran's son, Jordan, 21, was held in contempt of court by Recorder Goldstone after being caught using a mobile phone to take photographs in the courtroom.

He was jailed for six months on 8 February but legal restrictions banned reporting of this until the end of the trial.

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