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Teenager found guilty of murdering Arnold Potter named

A teenager who stabbed and killed a man in Maidenbower, Crawley has been found guilty of murder.

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Kai Gasson, 17, unemployed, from Crawley, admitted using a lock knife to wound the torso of Arnold Potter; however, he claimed he did so in self-defence.

Reporting restrictions were lifted to allow him to be named.

The 24-year-old victim sought help from a number of residents following the incident in Watson Close, Maidenbower, around 6.40pm on Thursday, November 15.

Shortly afterwards, he was found collapsed in the street. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and members of the public who commenced CPR, he was sadly declared dead at 7.17pm.

Gasson had chased Arnold (pictured above) up the street following the attack, but then made off from the scene and spent the night at a friend’s house, where he confessed to his crime and was encouraged to hand himself in to police the next day.

Man is stabbed to death in Maidenbower.

He was charged with murder and was remanded in custody ahead of a two-week trial which concluded at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, April 18 where a jury found him guilty of murder.

It is alleged that in the events leading up to the attack, the defendant had been approached in the street by Arnold, who is reported to have held a knife to his throat and threatened to rob him of his drugs.

In response to this, Gasson withdrew a knife from his bag and used it to stab Arnold.

Following a search of his house, the defendant was further arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon (a knife). The jury also found him guilty of this offence as well as possession with intent to supply a class A drug (cocaine).

Photo: A replica of the knife used by Gasson

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson, who led the investigation, said: “Kai Gasson has been found guilty of the murder of Arnold Potter and rightly so now faces a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

“The jury has rejected his claim that he acted in self-defence and agreed with the prosecution that he murdered Arnold Potter.

“Gasson was also been found guilty of possession of a knife and pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine.

“Knife crime hasn’t just affected the two individuals involved; it has also affected their families, friends and the wider community and my thoughts our especially with Arnold’s family at this time.

“The key element to this tragic incident is the possession of a knife in a public place, which is an extremely serious offence.

“Had Gasson not been in possession of a knife that day, he would not have stabbed anyone and he would not now be facing a sentence.

“The devastation caused by knife crime is well documented, and Sussex Police – like every other force in the UK – will not tolerate it.

“We must continue to educate people – particularly young people – that carrying offensive weapons in public is a serious offence which ruins lives. It is a common misconception that some people feel safer in possession with a knife. This cannot be further from the truth; carrying a knife makes you far more likely to be involved in a crime, whether you are the victim or the offender.

“Our message is simple: lose the knife, not your life.”

Crime

Man jailed for stealing charity collection tins

A man who broke into a café and stole three charity collection tins has been jailed.

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Police were alerted to the break-in at The Conservatory Café in North Street, Horsham, about 11.30pm on Monday 13 May.

Smashed windows and traces of blood were discovered at the scene and a witnesses described a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence.

Due to the description provided and the information received, a suspect was nominated.

A PCSO on patrol spotted the suspect in Hurst Road about 7pm the following evening (14 May) and noticed he had cuts on his hand consistent with a recent injury.

The suspect was identified as Kieran Blunden, 33, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Further officers attended to assist, and Blunden was arrested and charged with burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16 May, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £50 in compensation.

Blunden also admitted stealing a charity box from the Cancer Research shop in West Street, Horsham, on 14 May, and this offence was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations Supervisor Dave Bell said:

“Blunden’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed and takes into account his previous offending history.

“This was a diabolical offence whereby the defendant has stolen from the most vulnerable in our community.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping to bring him to justice – from the café owner who initially reported it, to the witness who provided a good description of the suspect, and the PCSO whose local knowledge ultimately led to Blunden being identified and arrested.”

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