Charlie Cosser: Boy found guilty of killing teen at party

Image source, SUSSEX POLICE

Image caption, Charlie Cosser died two days after he was stabbed three times at a party in July 2023

  • Author, Amy Walker
  • Role, BBC News, South East

A teenager who stabbed a 17-year-old boy to death on a busy dance floor has been found guilty of murder.

The teenage defendant, who was 16 at the time of the attack and cannot be named for legal reasons, faces a life sentence after a trial at Brighton Crown Court.

A jury unanimously convicted him on Tuesday of murder and having a magazine article.

The victim’s family members cried and hugged each other as the court handed down the verdict.

The trial heard that a fight broke out between the defendant, Charlie and two other boys on the dance floor after the defendant and his friends were asked to leave the party.

Image caption, Charlie Cosser’s family paid tribute to his ‘ridiculously silly sense of humor’

A partygoer unknowingly took a video of the fight involving the defendant while filming her friends dancing in the marquee at the BalFest event.

Opening the case on May 13, prosecutor Alan Gardner KC said: “In the darkness and noise of a busy dance floor, his use of the knife and the blows with the knife went unnoticed by those in the area.”

The court heard from numerous witnesses who attended the party during the trial.

‘Beneath the Blood’

A friend of the defendant said he had drunk an “excessive amount” of vodka and seemed “angry” after a man tried unsuccessfully to get him to leave the party because of his behavior toward a young woman.

The witness described hearing “an argument” in the marquee before the suspect and others began fighting.

He said he later found the suspect on the side of the road with his hands and pants “covered in blood.”

The young man and another friend of the suspect also said they heard him say, “I stabbed someone.”

Mr Cosser was still conscious when police arrived at 12.30am BST and was able to tell officers his name and address, the court heard.

On the way to the hospital he went into cardiac arrest, with internal bleeding caused by a cut in a main artery.

The teen died two days later on July 25.

Image caption, Charlie’s father Martin has previously said there are “no words” to describe the impact his death has had on his family

Jurors heard the defendant accepted he had burned the clothes he wore at the party in a fire pit, saying they were covered in blood.

The knife has not been found.

The suspect, who denied the allegations, refused to testify during the trial.

He previously pleaded guilty to murder at an initial appearance at Lewes Crown Court on July 28 last year, but successfully applied to withdraw the plea before being sentenced.

Charlie’s family have previously paid tribute to him as a “beautiful boy” with a “good heart”.

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