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A man has been found not guilty of murdering two teenage boys during an incident in Brentwood.
Frankie Watson was part of a group which was involved in a confrontation with another group in the centre of the town in the early hours of Sunday October 24, 2021.
The 20-year-old was with three other men when there was an altercation with the second group, which included 16-year-old boys Charlie Preston and Frankie Gater.
A short time later, a fight broke out between Watson and that group. Charlie and Frankie sustained fatal stab wounds during that confrontation.
Watson, of Baker Street, Orsett, was subsequently charged with two counts of murder, two counts of manslaughter and one count of a possession of a knife in a public place.
Today, a jury at Basildon Crown Court found Watson not guilty on each of the murder and manslaughter charges.
He was found guilty of the knife offence and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Watson has been in custody since October last year.
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation into the deaths.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, who led our investigation, said: “This is an absolutely tragic case in which two 16-year-old boys needlessly lost their lives.
“I would like to pay tribute to Frankie and Charlie’s families who have carried themselves with dignity and understanding throughout our investigation and throughout the trial.
“I cannot imagine the loss they are feeling.”