Police custody image of Southsea killer found not guilty of murder

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A male who knifed a teenager to death was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Thomas Betteridge. Pic: Dorset Police

Thomas Betteridge. Pic: Dorset Police
Thomas Betteridge. Pic: Dorset Police | Thomas Betteridge. Pic: Dorset Police

A police custody image has been released of Thomas Betteridge, 18, of Southsea, who was found guilty of the manslaughter of Cameron Hamilton, 18, and possessing a bladed article following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Jurors returned a not guilty verdict on the murder charge. Betteridge will return to court to be sentenced on Friday 5 April.

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The fatal incident happened at around 1.25am on Saturday 5 August 2023 when officers in Bournemouth were made aware of an altercation taking place in the area of The Square. It was subsequently reported that a man had sustained a suspected stab wound.

Despite the efforts of officers – who were on the scene within seconds of the fatal stabbing - and paramedics who subsequently attended, Cameron was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following a detailed investigation by detectives from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), Betteridge was charged and another 18-year-old man, Lennie Hansen of Waterlooville, was also charged with assisting an offender and possessing a bladed article.

Hansen was found not guilty of assisting an offender but had previously admitted a charge of possessing a bladed article, which related to him bringing the knife that Betteridge used in the fatal stabbing. He will be sentenced alongside Betteridge on Friday 5 April.

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Detective Chief Inspector Neil Third, of MCIT, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Cameron Hamilton and nothing will ever make up for the devastating loss they have endured as a result of what took place in the early hours of Saturday 5 August 2023. I want to thank them sincerely for the dignified way they have conducted themselves throughout the investigation and court process.

“We have worked tirelessly to do all we can to secure justice for Cameron’s loved ones and I want to thank all those involved, from the officers who responded immediately on the night to the investigation team and everyone else across the Force who provided support and helped secure evidence. I also want to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their assistance in bringing this case to court.

“Cameron’s tragic death at the hands of Thomas Betteridge is the starkest of reminders of the horrific consequences that can result from taking a knife out onto the streets and we will continue to work with our partners and communities to raise awareness and take action on knife crime.”

Cameron Hamilton. Pic Dorset PoliceCameron Hamilton. Pic Dorset Police
Cameron Hamilton. Pic Dorset Police

Andrew Gubbels, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: “This case truly shocked Bournemouth and its surrounding communities to the core.

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“The CPS worked closely with Dorset Police to ensure those responsible for these heinous offences were prosecuted. Our thoughts remain firmly with Cameron’s family and we hope these convictions send the clear message that violence involving knives has truly devastating consequences.”