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Battered teen left to die in the street.

Byline: BY ADAM ASPINALL

DETECTIVES last night launched a murder hunt after a teenager was left to die in a Midland street.

Jacob Collett, 17, died an hour after being found collapsed on a pavement in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on Friday night. A post-mortem examination showed he died of a traumatic brain haemorrhage after being hit on the head.

His devastated family last night spoke of their shock.

Dad Rod Collett, who runs building firm Ravensgate Homes, said: ``I'm just numb, we are completely stunned at the loss of a good friend and a son``I have cried that many tears I have just none left at the moment. We can't think of any reason why this would happen. Jacob was a lovely and likeable person who was well known.''

The youngster, an apprentice carpenter for his dad's firm since leaving school at 16, was found outside Windsor Court in Windsor Street, Leamington, shortly before midnight.

Paramedics were called and attempts were made to resuscitate the teenager en route to hospital, but he died about anhour later. Jacob, of Lillington Avenue, Leamington Spa, had been drinking in Murphy's Bar, in Regent Street, during the evening.

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman added: ``Police officers have spoken to witnesses who saw Jacob involved in a verbal altercation with another man a few minutes before he collapsed.

``Police are seeking to identify the man involved in this exchange who is described as white and around 6ft tall with blond hair. Officers believe Jacob suffered the head injury in Windsor Street at the time he collapsed, but it is not known how the injury was caused.''

Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Pearson, who is leading the investigation, described Jacob as a sociable young man.

``Anyone who saw Jacob or spoke to him in Murphy's Bar or anyone who witnessed anything to assist the inquiry is asked to contact Leamington CID.''

l An 18-year-old man arrested on Friday in connection with the death was still being quizzed at Leamington Police station last night

CAPTION(S):

DRINKING: Collett had been in Murphy's before he was found
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 22, 2005
Words:349
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