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Teenager who stabbed reveller to death, boasted ‘I sliced him up’ to a friend and livestreamed his arrest on Instagram is cleared of murder

A teenager who stabbed a reveller to death and was then heard ‘boasting’ about it afterwards has been cleared on murder but was found guilty of his manslaughter. 

Thomas Betteridge inflicted a fatal wound to the chest of 18-year-old Cameron Hamilton during a town centre brawl.

Afterwards, as trainee plumber Mr Hamilton lay dying, Betteridge flung the knife away and fled the scene. He will be sentenced for the crime on April5

He was overheard saying to a friend of how he had ‘sliced up’ the victim.

Police officers got to Mr Hamilton 10 seconds after he was stabbed but there was nothing they could do to save him.

Cameron Hamilton

Thomas Betteridge

Thomas Betteridge stabbed to death Cameron Hamilton, left, during a brawl in Dorset

The fatal attack happened in The Square in Bournemouth, Dorset. Betteridge denied murdering Mr Hamilton insisting he only acted in self defence

The fatal attack happened in The Square in Bournemouth, Dorset. Betteridge denied murdering Mr Hamilton insisting he only acted in self defence

Betteridge, 18, was found by police nearby. He live streamed his arrest on Instagram and ‘feigned ignorance’ of the stabbing and then showed ‘righteous indignation’ at being stopped and searched.

He denied murdering Mr Hamilton, claiming he had acted in self defence.

Betteridge was found not guilty of murder following a three week trial but was convicted of manslaughter.

The court heard that Mr Hamilton and his friends had assaulted Betteridge and his friend Lennie Hansen when the two groups clashed in The Square in Bournemouth, Dorset, at 1.30am on August 5.

During the scuffle Betteridge, from Portsmouth, picked up a kitchen knife Hansen had earlier dropped in a flowerbed for fear of being caught with it by the police.

Harrowing CCTV footage shows Betteridge holding the knife while being chased by Mr Hamilton and two friends.

He then stopped, turned around and stabbed Mr Hamilton three times.

After he and Hansen were charged over the incident, a conversation between the pair was recorded in a police van. Betteridge said: ‘He banged me once at the wall and I just shanked him, in his chest bruv…worst case I’ll be out in 12 years for manslaughter.’

John Price KC, prosecuting, told Bournemouth Crown Court the fight was sparked for ‘obscure’ reasons when Mr Hamilton pushed Betteridge into the flowerbed.

Mr Price told the jury: ‘This was a wholly unnecessary and tragic culmination of a familiar and depressing tale of town centre violence.

‘Mr Hansen had taken a knife into Bournemouth and hid it in the flowerbed as there was a high police presence.

‘What seemed an unremarkable encounter between two groups escalated for obscure reasons and Mr Hamilton pushed Mr Betteridge into a flowerbed, then his friends started assaulting Mr Hansen.

‘Mr Betteridge retrieved the knife from the flowerbed and despite being asked to drop it, stabbed Mr Hamilton with it three times.

‘The first was in his side with no serious damage, but the second wound on his chest was of such severity nothing could be done to save him.’

The court heard Betteridge and Hansen ran away.

Mr Price added: ‘Mr (Wayne) Taylor, an off-duty security guard, said he saw the male in grey turn to the male in blue and say ‘I sliced him up, I sliced him up.’

‘According to Mr Taylor, he said it in an almost boastful and proud manner and he was laughing a little bit.’

The court heard that Betteridge claimed one of Mr Hamilton’s friends also had a knife. A second weapon was later retrieved near the scene.

Hansen, from Waterlooville, Hants, was charged with assisting an offender and was found not guilty of the offence.

The family of Mr Hamilton have released a statement saying they will ‘always be truly devastated’ at his loss.

They described him as a ‘loving, caring, intelligent and polite young man’ and thanked everyone who have supported them since his death.

READ MORE: Watch as police attempt to save mortally wounded man 

They said: ‘We as a family still remain and always will be, truly devastated by the loss of our beautiful Cam, we will never get over his life being so horribly taken from him. Our lives are changed forever.

from him. Our lives are changed forever.

‘Cam was loved by all that had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a loving and caring, intelligent, polite young man with his whole life ahead of him.. He is missed so much by us all.

‘We thank all the people that have been there for us, helped and supported us through the most horrific time of our lives, we will never forget.

‘We would like to publicly thank the following:

‘The police officers first on the scene who tried to save Cam’s life and the ambulance crew who took over, we thank you so much for being with him.

‘The investigation team and Crown Prosecution Service for their hard work from start to finish and throughout the trial. Thank you for the respect, professionalism and empathy you have all shown to Cam and our family.

‘The family liaison officers who have been with us from day one, you have been amazing.

‘And finally, thank you to our barrister John Price KC, we could not have asked for anyone better to represent Cam in court.’

Police said that Mr Hamilton’s death is the ‘starkest of reminders of the horrific consequences of knife crime’.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Third, of the Dorset Police Major Crimes Investigation Team, said: ‘Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Cameron Hamilton and nothing will ever make up for the devastating loss they have endured as a result of what took place in the early hours of August 5, 2023.

‘I want to thank them sincerely for the dignified way they have conducted themselves throughout the investigation and court process.

‘We have worked tirelessly to do all we can to secure justice for Cameron’s loved ones and I want to thank all those involved, from the officers who responded immediately on the night to the investigation team and everyone else across the Force who provided support and helped secure evidence.

‘I also want to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their assistance in bringing this case to court.

‘Cameron’s tragic death at the hands of Thomas Betteridge is the starkest of reminders of the horrific consequences that can result from taking a knife out onto the streets and we will continue to work with our partners and communities to raise awareness and take action on knife crime.’

Andrew Gubbels, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: ‘This case truly shocked Bournemouth and its surrounding communities to the core.

‘The CPS worked closely with Dorset Police to ensure those responsible for these heinous offences were prosecuted.

‘Our thoughts remain firmly with Cameron’s family and we hope these convictions send the clear message that violence involving knives has truly devastating consequences.’

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