19/06/2006

Murdered teen's mother makes appeal for information

The mother of murdered Kent teenager Michael Chapman has made an emotional appeal for information about her son's death.

Sixteen-year-old Michael died on June 16 shortly after being attacked at the upper playing fields at Gore Court Cricket Club, Sittingbourne, as he walked with his 28-year-old brother David and their girlfriends.

Police said that the attack was not a robbery and that no weapon had been used in the assault. They said that Michael had died as a direct result of injuries sustained during the attack, which was described as "unprovoked and gratuitous".

Michael's mother, Sue Chapman, described her son as "a happy, kind, normal 16-year-old boy." She said: "Please just find the people that did this to my son and David's brother, that's all we ask for."

Jonathan Whitcombe, headteacher of Westlands School which Michael attended, described him as "quiet and reserved" and well-liked by his teachers and fellow pupils.

He said that Michael had been sitting his GCSE exams and had had only two examinations remaining.

Two people - an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy - have been arrested by Kent Police on suspicion of murder and remain police custody. They are being held at separate police stations in Kent.

Detective Superintendent Lee Catling from Kent Police said: "I am appealing for anyone who knows why someone would want to harm Michael to come forward. I want to talk to anyone who was in the Gore Park Cricket Ground on Friday night between 7pm and 3am or who regularly visits the area."

Officers have set up a mobile police station at Gore Court Cricket Ground near the site of the attack for people in the area to come and speak to police.

People can also contact the witness line on: 01795 419294 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.

(KMcA/SP)

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