Five held over death of student

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

FIVE youths were being questioned by police last night after a student was kicked to death by a group of teenagers in an apparently unprovoked attack.

Patrick French, 22, was set upon as he waited for a taxi in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, with a friend and four French au-pair girls on Saturday night. The fourth-year Kingston University business studies student died after being beaten and left with blood pouring out of his mouth.

Damian Chapman, a Kingston graduate, yesterday described the attack in which his friend died: 'They set upon him and I waded in trying to help but got kicked to the ground. By the time one of the girls managed to help me up the gang had vanished and I saw Patrick lying unconscious. I crawled over and put him in the recovery position and saw his mouth was full of blood.'

Mr French, who was 6ft 5ins tall, was due to go on a six-month exchange to a college in Montpellier, France. 'Patrick was such a good fun person to have around, he always had time for you. He was lively, outgoing and always the centre of attention,' Mr Chapman said.

Mr French's parents yesterday travelled from their home in Lewes, East Sussex, to the flat their son was sharing with friends in New Malden, Surrey.

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