Tilbury man convicted after death of devoted father

Mick Ferris

A man has been convicted in connection with the death of a ‘loving and devoted father’ in Tilbury.

Thirty-five year-old Craig North was found seriously injured in Feenan Highway shortly before 9.45pm on January 2 last year.

He was taken to hospital but died there nine days later.

About two hours after he had been found injured, police received a call from a relative of 20 year-old Darnel Curtin reporting he had stabbed someone.

Officers attended his address in Chesterton Way, Tilbury, and arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder.

Doorbell footage from his home address showed him leaving his property shortly after 9.05pm on his scooter.

He was captured returning at 9.40pm without his scooter, but then leaving again seven minutes later in possession of a rucksack.

When he returned at 9.52pm he no longer had the bag.

Officers carried out a search of the area to locate the bag which was found in bushes at the side of a field behind Brennan Road.

Inside were clothes and trainers, and underneath was a large hunting-style knife which had visible blood stains on the blade.

When these were forensically analysed, it was established the knife had Curtin’s DNA on it and the blade had Mr North’s blood on it.

As the investigation progressed, police uncovered that Curtin had been detained under the Mental Health Act the previous October.

Curtin was initially charged with attempted murder but following Mr North’s death, that charge was upgraded to murder.

He denied the charge but, following a trial at Basildon Crown Court, was found guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

He is due to be sentenced at the same court on January 31.

Senior investigating officer temporary Detective Chief Inspector Julie Gowen said: “Craig’s death was a needless tragedy which has robbed his family of a much-loved man.

“No conviction will ever bring Craig back, but I hope this will help them to move forward.”

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk