Revenge attack fears after teenager’s death in street

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EXTRA police are set to be deployed in two Midlothian towns this weekend amid fears of revenge attacks following the death of a teenager.

The parents of Dale Bennett, 17, who died in the incident in Newbyres Crescent, Gorebridge, early on Saturday morning, have issued an appeal for calm and said their son would not want “retribution”.

Threats have been issued on social networking sites which police are understood to be monitoring.

Brian McHale, 20, from Gorebridge, has appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with the teenager’s murder. He made no plea or declaration and his case was continued.

Police today said special patrols will be mounted on Friday and Saturday in both Gorebridge and nearby Mayfield, where the teenager lived, in a bid to prevent trouble flaring.

Officers will visit hotspots where large groups of youths are known to gather and drinking dens used by youngsters.

In a statement, the victim’s parents, Garry and Michelle Bennett, said: “People who knew Dale would know that he was the kind of lad who would not want any retribution sought for his death and we would like to appeal to the local communities to respect his memory.”

Mr Bennett added: “Michelle and I are appealing to anyone who has information about our son’s murder to come forward and speak to the police and for those who are working with police to fully co-operate.”

The teenager was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the incident, which happened at around 2.20am on Saturday, but died shortly after.

Dale’s long-term girlfriend, Nicole Ormiston, 16, left a message on memorial pages set up on the Gone Too Soon website.

She said: “You will never be replaced as my boyfriend even though you’re in the sky you will always be in my heart and by my side. Just keep looking down on me darling. I’ll try my best to get through this and keep you happy.”

Hundreds of messages have also been left on a Facebook page created in his memory.

One friend also called for calm among youths in both areas.

He wrote: “Those who are reading this who feel the need to protect themselves with knifes or weapons should hang there [sic] head in shame. Why take something so precious as life because of fear and anger.”

Inspector Mike Bennett, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: “We are aware there are tensions. However, it is important everyone respects the wishes of his parents and refrains from seeking retribution.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0131-311 3131, or 0800 555 111.

amcewen@edinburghnews.com