Connor Saunders death: Family's 'continued loss'

Connor Saunders (far right) with his family
Image caption The family of Connor Saunders (far right) said nothing could bring him back

The family of a teenager who died following a fight have spoken of their loss after a 14-year-old boy was cleared of causing his death.

Connor Saunders, 19, of Downsway, Woodingdean, Brighton, suffered head injuries in Rottingdean on 14 April and died in hospital a day later.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of manslaughter at Hove Crown Court.

Mr Saunders' family said their love for Connor would "never stop".

In a statement issued through Sussex Police on Friday they said: "Whatever the verdict that was given by the jury, it cannot bring our son Connor back to life.

"When he went out that night after a hard week's work, we didn't for one second think that he would never return to his loving family and home.

"Connor's short life touched so many people. He was popular, liked and loved by family, friends and a community. He loved his football. He was full of fun and again loved by all."

Candlelit vigil

The family praised their barrister Oliver Dunkin and Sussex Police for the way they handled the case.

Mr Saunders played for Peacehaven Football Club where his father is the first team manager.

Hundreds of mourners including former X Factor singer Frankie Cocozza attended Mr Saunders' funeral at St Margaret's Church, Rottingdean, in May.

A candlelit vigil was held at the site of the attack in Rottingdean and a special football match was played in his memory.

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