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HACKED TO DEATH; Terry Hurst went camping with three of his friends. They murdered him with scythes and won't say why.

Byline: BRIAN ROBERTS

THREE teenagers who hacked a friend to death with scythes have refused to reveal the reason for their horrific attack, police said yesterday.

The killers - two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl - had been camping with pal Terry Hurst when they killed him.

They all admitted his murder yesterday and the case was adjourned for sentencing.

Terry, 17, suffered over 60 wounds to his head and body, so many that the exact cause of death could not be established.

Police said the attack involved three separate phases in which Terry tried to get away and the three caught up with him.

Outside court, Det Insp Tom Whiteley said: "The injuries inflicted on this young man were horrific to say the least and the worst I have seen.

"We've thought long and hard about what was going through the mind of these young people.

"I cannot visualise what goes through a person's mind to commit a protracted attack of such a ferocious nature."

The friends had been camping beside Broomhead Reservoir, north of Sheffield, in July last year.

But the three killers had left Terry in the woods and gone to the nearby village of Bolsterstone.

They returned with the 5ft agricultural scythes which they had stolen from a churchyard.

A farmer found the body the next day in a ditch with a plastic bag over the head and a scythe embedded in the skull.

Mr Whiteley added: "They were a group of friends who knew each other socially and met up to go camping.

"The 16-year-old girl was just a friend and not a girlfriend of any of the boys.

"There was some suggestion there had been a fall-out between Terry and the rest on the evening they went camping but what that was about has never been established."

Det Supt Kevin Hardy, who led the inquiry, said: "There is no evidence they were on drugs and although they had been drinking that evening it wasn't a large amount. It is likely they had words, picked up the drink and scythes then killed Terry.

"We don't know why, they haven't told us. It will probably only become clear when they are reinterviewed and then sentenced."

All three teenagers, who come from the Sheffield area, changed their pleas at the last minute, sparing Terry's family the ordeal of a trial. They cannot be identified.

Judge Mr Justice Andrew Smith told them at Sheffield crown court: "This is a desperately sad case and our thoughts are with the deceased's family."

He ordered pre-sentence reports to be prepared. The boys were remanded in custody. The girl, who was still at school at the time of the murder, is in care.

All three defendants were known to police but Mr Whiteley said this was only for minor matters and none had shown any indication they were capable of such violence.

Terry, who has two brothers, lived with foster parents for several years but had just moved out to live in accommodation for young people at Penistone, near Barnsley.

He was a student in Sheffield and involved with the church.

Mr Whiteley added: "He was known locally as a Good Samaritan.

"He would help anyone out and would never cause any particular problems for anyone."

CAPTION(S):

SLASHED:; Terry Hurst tried to flee; MURDER SCENE: Broomhead Reservoir near Sheffield
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 26, 2005
Words:557
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