Bennett murder trial verdict

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BRIAN McHale (21) has been found guilty of the murder of Dale Bennett (17) in Newbyres Crescent, Gorebridge, on February 12 last year.

The jury of 11 women and four men delivered a unanimous verdict at the High Court in Edinburgh at 12.45 today (Wednesday, February 15, 2012).

On the eighth day of the hearing, they deliberated for almost two hours and returned to a packed and tense number 12 court in Chambers Street.

The jury spokesman’s confirmation of the verdict sparked a reaction in the public benches and the judge, Lady Clark of Colton, warned those present to behave.

She expressed sympathy to the Bennett family, describing the case as “a tragedy” for both families affected.

McHale, who showed no emotion when the verdict was announced, had sentence deferred to March 14 for the preparation of reports.

Outside the court, a statement read on behalf of the Bennett family described the incident as “a waste of two young lives through sheer stupidity”.

The Bennetts also called on the public and agencies to work together to eradicate knife crime.

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