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Man faces lengthy jail sentence for killing teenage boy in motorbike crash

Matthew Buckworth denied murder but admitted the manslaughter of 17-year-old Sonny Stephenson, who died in a crash in Cleveland, in August.

A man who admitted killing a teenager in a motorbike smash has been warned that he faces a lengthy prison sentence.

Matthew Buckworth, 34, denied murder but admitted the manslaughter of 17-year-old Sonny Stephenson, who died in a crash in Guisborough, Cleveland, in August.

The boy’s family gasped in the public gallery at Teesside Crown Court when Buckworth entered his pleas via a videolink from Durham Prison.

Buckworth wept after he admitted the offence, and a charge of attempting to assault another youth who was riding on the bike with Sonny.

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Sonny Stephenson, 17, was riding a motorbike when he was killed by Matthew Buckworth (Cleveland Police/PA)

It was understood Buckworth threw a spade at the pair, that they came off the motorbike and ended up in a ditch dug by road workers.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC told Buckworth he will be sentenced on January 26 after a report is prepared.

He told the defendant: “You appreciate and will have been advised that only a prison sentence, and a lengthy prison sentence, will be passed by me.”

Buckworth, of Charlton’s Garth, Guisborough, was remanded in custody.

Emergency services were called to Bolckow Street at around 9.15pm on August 27 following reports of a crash involving a motorcyclist.

The road was taped off for a number of hours while police investigated the scene.

The teenager’s 15-year-old pillion passenger was treated for minor injuries at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough before he was released.

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