Police search city centre churchyard after Newcastle man fatally stabbed with a screwdriver

Police are scouring a churchyard in Newcastle city centre close to where a 52-year-old man was stabbed in an “unprovoked” attack.

Officers have been spotted searching through the grounds of St Andrew’s Church, just yards away from where the “awful” incident took place at around 6.20pm last night.

Police have confirmed the victim as “devoted father” Peter Duncan, who was believed to have been stabbed with a screwdriver.

Mr Duncan, who is from the Newcastle area, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where he was pronounced dead.

Police are searching the grounds of St Andrew's Church following the murder of a 52-year-old man in Eldon Square.
Police are searching the grounds of St Andrew’s Church following the murder of a 52-year-old man in Eldon Square.

Police arrested seven young men overnight – a 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and four 17-year-olds – in connection with the incident.

All are now being questioned on suspicion of murder, one of the youths is believed to be the main suspect.

Flowers have been left outside Eldon Square Shopping Centre with locals expressing their shock and sadness at the incident.

Peter’s family have today paid tribute to him, saying he will be in their “hearts and thoughts every day”.

They said in a statement: “Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.

Alleged murder victim Peter Duncan
Alleged murder victim Peter Duncan

“He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him. His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all.”

“Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him. He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day.”

A large police presence remains in Newcastle city centre today while officers carry out a number of inquiries across the city centre in connection with the murder investigation.

Northumbria Police Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Ged Noble, said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts go out to Peter’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

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Eldon Square stabbing

“They continue to be given any support they may need by a team of specialist officers. Peter’s family have requested that their privacy is respected during this difficult time.

“I appreciate the communities we serve will have concerns and I want to reassure the public and businesses that we are doing all we can to prevent incidents of this tragic nature and ensure people feel safe.

“We will be continuing extra patrols in the area and I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to an officer.

A police officer outside Eldon Square where a man was stabbed with a screwdriver and later died
A police officer outside Eldon Square where a man was stabbed with a screwdriver and later died

“We are committed to finding out the circumstances behind Peter’s death, and I’d like to thank members of the public who’ve been in touch passing on information that could assist detectives with this investigation.

“Our enquiries will continue and I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident, who are yet to come forward, to pick up the phone and contact police.”

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Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference number 281 15/08/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Author: Hot reporter