Three boys held over death of Brighton teenager

Posted On 15 Apr 2012 at 6:35 pm

A teenager from Brighton has died after he was punched in the head in a fight last night (Saturday 14 April).

Connor Saunders, 19, of Downsway, Woodingdean, was attacked in West Street, Rottingdean, between 10.30pm and 11pm.

Sussex Police said that he was hit after “an altercation between two groups” who knew each other.

Three boys – a 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds – were arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).

They have now been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in custody this afternoon (Sunday 15 April).

Connor, who celebrated his 19th birthday three weeks ago, played County League football for Peacehaven and Telscombe FC where his father Shaun is the manager.

Connor Saunders

The youngster was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after the attack but doctors were unable to save him.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, is leading the investigation.

He said: “Sadly a young man has now died following a serious assault in Rottingdean last night.

“Our thoughts are with the family at what is an incredibly difficult time for them.

“Officers will be in the Rottingdean area to speak with local residents and anyone who may be concerned about the incident.

“An area of West Street is cordoned off to help us with our investigation and residents and visitors to Rottingdean today have been very understanding of the reasons around this.

“I’d like to thank them for their continued patience and support.

“We are still working to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

“At the moment we believe that an altercation has taken place between two groups in West Street.

“Members of each group are known to each other and during the incident the 19-year-old victim has been punched to the head, causing him to fall to the floor.

“I am aware that there has been some speculation locally that a weapon was involved but there is no indication from the information we have that this was the case.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything prior to the assault taking place.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


  1. A Suffield Reply

    This is every parents worst nightmare! My heart goes out to Connor’s parents, family & friends. The perpetrators need public humiliation – horse-whipping! There is no deterrent these days and criminals and would-be criminals are not frightened of anything. This is a very sad situation. Some people wonder why kids and teenagers these days are becoming more and more cosseted within the confines of home & friends houses, often on the sofa with computers and electronic games….. well, at least they’re not getting viscously attacked. The laws should be more powerful to deal with such gangs and those who are brought to justice should not get out early, they should serve the full-term that was originally set by the court at the time of trial. RIP Connor.

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  3. s james Reply

    This is such a tragic loss for Connor’s family who have had their heart ripped out. A warm loving family who did not deserve this. R.I.P. Connor and heartfelt love and wishes to Shaun Darran and family

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