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Man cleared of murdering two teenagers in Brentwood

Frankie Watson told Basildon Crown Court he was acting in self defence 

A man has been found not guilty of murdering two teenage boys in Brentwood. 

Frankie Watson, 20, was with three men when they were involved in a confrontation with a group of teenagers in the centre of the town in the early hours of Sunday, 24 October 2021. 

A fight broke out between Mr Watson and the other group, which included 16-year-olds Charlie Preston and Frankie Gater. Both boys were fatally stabbed during the altercation. 

Mr Watson told Basildon Crown Court that they had chased him with a machete and a knuckleduster and that he had been acting in self defence.

He was found not guilty of two counts of murder and two counts of manslaughter but was found guilty of possession of a knife in a public place and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Essex Police said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths of Charlie Preston and Frankie Gater. 

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, who led the investigation into their deaths, said: “This is an absolutely tragic case in which two 16-year-old boys needlessly lost their lives.

“I would like to pay tribute to Frankie and Charlies’ families who have carried themselves with dignity and understanding throughout our investigation and throughout the trial.

“I cannot imagine the loss they are feeling.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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