Chris Poole death: 3 teenagers arrested following death of a man attacked by a gang of youths in Eastbourne
- Chris Poole, 46, died from head injuries after he was kicked and punched by a group of teenage boys
- A 13-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy, and a man aged 19 have been arrested on suspicion of murder
- Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack
By Sarah Johnson
PUBLISHED: 11:38 EST, 19 August 2012 | UPDATED: 11:39 EST, 19 August 2012
A shop manager was brutally murdered because he refused to buy alcohol for a gang of underage youths.
Chris Poole, 46, suffered serious head injuries when he was punched and kicked on the ground outside a corner shop Eastbourne, East Sussex on Tuesday night.
He never regained consciousness and later died from his injuries at Eastbourne District General Hospital.
A best friend and a soulmate: Chris Poole (pictured) died following an assault in Eastbourne on Thursday
A group of teenage boys attacked 46-year-old Mr Poole and beat him unconscious outside the Premier convenience store (pictured) in Eastbourne
A 19-year-old boy and a 15-year-old
were arrested on suspicion of murder following the attack and police
were today due to apply for a court order to continue questioning them.
A 13-year-old who was also arrested following the incident has been released on police bail.
Mr Poole, a manager at budget store Poundland, was attacked as he returned to his two pet dogs which were tied up outside the Premier convenience shop in the town's Hampden Park.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said told The Mirror: 'We have heard Chris refused to go back into the shop to get booze and fags for one of the lads who was under age. What on earth is this country coming to?'
The shop’s owner Bayram Sahindal has also spoken of his attempts to help Chris, who lived just 100 yards away from him.
He said: 'I heard a row developing after he left the shop and I saw a young lad give him a firm upper cut to his head,” he said. “One other lad then hit him as he lay on the ground.
'He didn’t do anything to bring this attack on himself. He never had a bad word to say to anyone.
'I tried to comfort him but he was obviously in a bad way.'
The shopkeeper said he had had made repeated requests for police to install CCTV cameras because of issues caused by youths gathering outside the shop, but had nothing had been done.
Mr Poole's partner Penny said in a statement: 'I'm devastated by the loss of a best friend and my soulmate, also the great father figure to all our children.
'You'll always be in my heart and I love you forever.'
The victim's mother Diane said: 'Chris was a great and loving son, brother to a devastated Rick, lover of wild birds and animals and a friend of anyone.
'Such a waste of a lovely young man who gave such a lot to so many and who was loved so dearly by us all.'
Mr Poole was rushed to hospital in an ambulance where doctors were unable to save his life
Mr Poole, who had attended Ratton School in Eastbourne, was a talented gymnast.
A 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody.
A 13-year-old boy, who was also arrested on suspicion of murder, has been released on conditional police bail until September 3, pending further inquiries.
Sussex Police are still appealing for witnesses to the attack, which occurred between 7pm and 10pm on Thursday.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said: 'I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of the Hydneye between 7pm and 10pm and who may have information about this violent assault to contact us.
'In particular, did you notice a disturbance or a group of teenagers causing a nuisance outside the Premier store during that time?
'This was a vicious attack which has left this man fighting for his life. There were a number of people in the area at the time. If you know who these teenagers are, or have any details that may help our investigation, please contact police.”
Chief Inspector Jayne Dando, Eastbourne district commander, said the community was left shocked by the attack.
She said: 'My neighbourhood officers know the community well. Over the coming days we will be available to address concerns that residents may have and reassure them that such a violent incident is very unusual.
'We will continue to be visible and will be working tirelessly to keep people informed about what we’re doing and to gather any information that could prove useful.'
Anyone with information about the attack should call Sussex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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