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Cole Newark jailed for murder

A 22-year-old man who punched his helpless victim with a knuckle duster during a sustained assault has today been jailed for life.

Cole Newark, 22, brutally attacked Darren Birks, 40, with the weapon leaving him with severe injuries from which he never recovered.  

Newark, of Witham Bank West, Boston, was also found guilty of possession of the offensive weapon which was used during the attack when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for trial.

Jailing him for life today, the trial judge told him he must serve a minimum of 20 years before he could be considered for release.

The court heard how Darren Birks, 40, was badly beaten by Newark, who had armed himself with a knuckle duster in Ingram Road, Boston, on the evening of April 29th, 2019.

CCTV obtained during the investigation shows the attack happened soon after Mr Birks rode past Newark who was outside the Premier shop in Shaw Road, Boston..

The swelling to Mr Birks’ face and head was so severe that he was placed in an induced coma in hospital. He died on May 9th.

Newark was arrested on May 1st and was initially charged with GBH. This indictment then changed to murder following Mr Birks’ death.

Newark entered a not guilty plea to murder bur pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Following the sentencing hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Karl Whiffen said: “This case has highlighted the absolute danger associated with carrying a weapon and the ultimate penalty that can be paid if one is used, I just wish we were able to bring this issue to the spotlight in a way that didn’t have such tragic consequences for so many people.  

“On the evening of the 29th April 2019 Cole Newark was stood outside the Premier stores on Shaw Road when Darren Birks rode past him on a bicycle and headed down Ingram Road.

“On seeing Darren, Newark armed himself with a knuckle duster, chased and caught up with him. He then subjected Darren to a brutal assault using the knuckle duster. The attack lasted less than 60 seconds, but within that time Darren sustained five skull fractures, spinal fractures, Facial fractures, and multiple bleeds to the brain.

“I have been a detective for many years and a homicide SIO across the East Midlands for the last three and a half years. I can say without doubt that these are some of the worst assault injuries, inflicted on a person, in a public place that I’ve seen. Darren was savagely beaten.

“There are a number of issues that we can draw from this investigation. If you strike someone about the head repeatedly with a weapon you can expect a catastrophic outcome, in this case it was the death of another man.

“If you carry a weapon in public and attack someone you will most likely go to prison. Be under no illusion about that.

“Critically, and I want to be really clear about this, always remember that if you leave your home with a weapon, and get into a fight with someone else, you are only ever a few seconds from taking another person’s life, and sentencing your own family to a lifetime without you.

“This isn’t just a police issue, it’s a societal issue. We need to make it socially unacceptable to carry weapons in a public place.

“This weekend the investigation team’s thoughts are with the family of Darren Birks. Hopefully after the verdict this week, they can start the difficult process of moving forward.”


Family tribute

Following sentence, the family have released the following statement: “We as a family would like to thank everyone that has been involved in bringing us justice. In particular, Keith Roberts, Karl Whiffen, Calley Murray and all their team who we know have worked tirelessly collecting the evidence needed to bring us this verdict. We definitely wouldn’t be where we are now without them.

“It has been an extremely difficult struggle and a long time coming. But with the continued support of family and many friends we have held on to each other and come through this. I truly can’t stress enough how grateful we are to you all, you’ve held us up, and Darren can now rest in peace.

“The attack on Darren was particularly vicious, and no amount of years will fade that from our memories!

“Left in the aftermath of Cole Newark’s actions are myself along with Darren’s sister, brothers and many other relatives and friends. But most of all are Darren’s two beautiful young children who have lost their dad! They need to grow as children should now, without this shadow forever hanging over them! 

“We’d  also like everyone out there to remember that Cole Newark’s actions have affected two families and not ours alone.

“And finally, Please, please, please Do Not Carry a Weapon! If you don’t have it, then you can’t use it!”







Cole Newark jailed for murder

Detective Chief Inspector Karl Whiffen speaks after Cole Newark is sentenced to 20 years in jail

11 Sep 20 3:41 PM

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