Denis Petkov: Killer 'undetermined' in Rettendon stabbing

Image caption,
Denis Petkov was treated by paramedics but died at the scene

A murder investigation collapsed after police failed to determine which of two men stabbed their 19-year-old neighbour in the neck, an inquest has heard.

Denis Petkov was found with stab wounds following an incident on East Hanningfield Road in Rettendon, Essex, on 11 March.

Essex Coroner's Court heard he was drinking in his own flat before "storming out" into his neighbours' flat where he was attacked.

An open conclusion was recorded.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said there was "insufficient evidence" to record unlawful killing.

Image caption,
Mihal Dobrev was charged by police a day after Mr Petkov was fatally stabbed

The inquest in Chelmsford heard it was not known why Bulgarian Mr Petkov, who worked at a hand car wash, went to his neighbours' flat.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Smith told the hearing witnesses said he was "being aggressive" and described the incident as "like a typhoon".

Essex Police arrested five occupants of the neighbours' flat on suspicion of murder, three were then told they faced no further action and treated as significant witnesses.


Officers charged one of the remaining two men with murder.

The man denied the charge and a trial was fixed, but the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence ahead of its scheduled date.

Summarising a police report, Ms Beasley-Murray said: "The investigation failed to identify which of the two people in the bedroom stabbed Mr Petkov and neither made any admissions, and there was a potential defence of self-defence."

Essex Police said the case would be reviewed if new evidence came to light.

Mr Petkov had lived at the address in Rettendon for three weeks with other Bulgarian nationals from the hand car wash at Sainsbury's where he worked.

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