England

Pair detained over Darlington homeless man's death

Two 15-year-old boys found guilty of the manslaughter of a homeless man in Darlington have been given custodial sentences.

The body of George Akers, 59, was found in the grounds of St Cuthbert's Church on 12 June. He had suffered multiple internal injuries.

The pair had denied murder and the jury acquitted them of that charge, but they were convicted of manslaughter.

They have been sent to a young offenders institution for four years.

Mr Akers had been sleeping rough in the grounds of the church.

He had not been in regular work for about 15 years and had spent time at various addresses before ending up on the streets.

He was known to many people in the town

Speaking after the verdict, Rev Robert Williamson, of St Cuthbert's Church in Darlington, said people had liked Mr Akers and the congregation had been shocked.

Det Supt Neil Malkin, of Durham Police, described the level of violence used against Mr Akers as "extraordinary".

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