Teenager sentenced to life for Newhaven murder
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Teenager Trent Hutchinson (see main picture) has been sentenced for the murder of his friend who he stabbed to death in Newhaven after an argument.
Colin Wells, aged 18, known as Ollie, died after being stabbed twice outside the address where he was staying in Elphick Road, Newhaven, at 11.30pm on Monday 6 January.
Trent Hutchinson, 16 at the time of the stabbing but now 17, had pleaded not guilty to murder but was convicted on Thursday (17 September) after a seven-day trial at Hove Crown Court, during which he could not be named for legal reasons.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with minimum term of 14 years, on Friday (18 September), and Judge Jeremy Gold QC lifted the court restriction on publication of his identity.
The court heard that Ollie Wells (above) had been temporarily without accommodation and Hutchinson's mother had said it was ok for him to stay with them at their home in Elphick Road, As a result Ollie was sleeping on a mattress on Trent Hutchinson’s bedroom floor.
But on the night of 6 January, after Ollie answered the door and spoke to some men who had called in a car, Hutchinson accused Ollie of 'bringing trouble to the house'.
A fight ensued between them inside the address in which Hutchinson punched Ollie who went outside. He was followed by Hutchinson who returned quickly after that and told his mother that he had stabbed Ollie.
Ollie had been stabbed twice with a knife taken from the house.
Ollie collapsed outside into the street where he died despite the efforts of Trent's mother, and of paramedics who swiftly arrived.
The Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenholme of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said; ""This tragic moment has had a terrible impact on two families which will live with them forever. One young man lost his life, cruelly and savagely murdered by another young man who he believed to be his best friend, who has consigned himself to tragically limited future. The families of both teenagers will undoubtedly feel that loss forever.
"Whatever the disagreement was between them that night, we may never know exactly why Ollie’s murderer reacted in such an extreme and violent way. When interviewed, he said in a prepared statement that he acted in self-defence and intended Ollie no serious harm. However the injuries made it clear that this was no defensive action but rather a sustained and deliberate attack.
“Both as a police officer, and a resident of Sussex I am desperate not to see any more young lives cut short as a result of knife violence in our county. The impact of knives is huge and often not fully understood by those carrying them. If you know of people carrying knives, have information about knife violence or organised criminality involving the carriage of knives or other weapons, please help us to keep people safe by calling us and telling us what you know. Let’s work together to avoid any other tragic and senseless losses as we have seen with the sad death of Ollie Wells.”
Ollie Wells' family have issued this statement; "Ollie’s death and the horrific way he died has been devastating for our family, he was the youngest sibling and loved very much. Ollie was a very smiley, happy, cheeky boy and despite facing challenges due to his autism was well-liked and had a great deal of potential. He enjoyed many activities including horse-riding, sports and playing his flute, drums and guitar. He was also a very keen supporter of Chelsea football club.
"We realise that this terrible crime has had a devastating impact not only upon us, but also upon the lives of another young person and his family, but, ultimately feel that today’s outcome is just and correct. We can only hope that somehow some good can come of Ollie’s death, we will never forget him and are so sad he is no longer with us."
For further information about police action to curb knife-related violence in Sussex and how you can help, see the force website here