‘You’ll always be in my heart and I love you forever’: Devastated girlfriend pays tribute to man killed by gang of youths – including boy, 13 – outside shop
- 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
A man who died after being attacked by a gang of teenagers outside a shop has been described as a ‘best friend and soulmate’ by his devastated partner.
Chris Poole, 46, sustained serious head injuries after being kicked and punched by the group when a row broke out outside a shop in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Mr Poole, who lost consciousness following the attack outside the Premier convenience store in the Hydneye area of the town, was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital, but doctors were unable to save his life and he later died from his injuries.
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
Three teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder following the incident on Thursday evening; a 13-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy, and a man aged 19.
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, 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.
Mr Poole was rushed to hospital in an ambulance where doctors were unable to save his life
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,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.