Joan Hoggett death: Prosecutors explain why Ethan Mountain was found not guilty of murder

The Crown Prosecution Service have explained why it was 'the appropriate decision' to accept a manslaughter plea from Ethan Mountain after he stabbed shop worker Joan Hoggett to death.

The 19-year-old, from Heaton Gardens, South Shields, had denied murdering 62-year-old great-grandmother Joan at the One Stop shop, in Sea Road, Fulwell, where she worked.

Ethan Mountain has been found not guilty of murdering Joan Hoggett at the One Stop shop in Fulwell and will now be sentenced for manslaughter at a later date.

Ethan Mountain has been found not guilty of murdering Joan Hoggett at the One Stop shop in Fulwell and will now be sentenced for manslaughter at a later date.

Mountain has been on trial at Newcastle Crown Court but today he was found not guilty of murder. He will be sentenced for manslaughter next week.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said: "In January of this year Ethan Mountain’s defence offered a plea to a charge of Manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility, which was supported by the professional view of the defence-instructed psychiatrist.

WATCH: Joan Hoggett's family make plea over knife crime as they urge those with mental health issues to seek support

"However, this was contradicted by the view of the psychiatrist instructed by the prosecution and, on that basis, we took the decision to proceed to trial for murder.

Joan Hoggett

Joan Hoggett

Listen to 999 call friend of Ethan Mountain made to police after he stabbed Joan Hoggett to death

"During the course of this trial our expert’s professional opinion began to align more closely with that of the defence and they have now conceded that Ethan Mountain was likely to have been of diminished responsibility during his attack on Joan Hoggett.

"As a result of this, the appropriate decision for the Crown was to offer no evidence on the charge of murder and to accept his guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

CCTV shows Ethan Mountain in moments before and after he kills Joan Hoggett as she worked in shop

"Such decisions are not taken lightly and we wholly appreciate the significant loss endured by the family of Joan Hoggett.

"Our thoughts remain with them at what must be a very difficult time."

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