Tributes to Roberts Buncis, 12, as boy charged with his murder

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Schoolboy found dead near Boston, Lincolnshire was ‘popular young man destined for success’

Roberts Buncis
Roberts Buncis was due to turn 13 on Monday. A 14-year-old has appeared in court accused of his murder. Photograph: Lincolnshire Police/PA
Roberts Buncis was due to turn 13 on Monday. A 14-year-old has appeared in court accused of his murder. Photograph: Lincolnshire Police/PA

First published on Mon 14 Dec 2020 04.35 EST

A 12-year-old boy who was allegedly murdered two days before his 13th birthday has been described as “a popular young man destined for a life of joy, happiness and success”.

The body of Roberts Buncis was found on grassy land near a housing estate near Boston, Lincolnshire, on Saturday. He was due to turn 13 on Monday.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is under 18, appeared in court on Monday accused of the 12-year-old’s murder.

The teenager appeared for a five-minute hearing at Lincoln magistrates court. The teenager spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, before he was remanded to appear at Lincoln crown court later in the day.

A 19-year-old man arrested on Saturday has been released with no further action, Lincolnshire police said.

Matthew Van Lier, the head of Roberts’ school, Haven High academy in Boston, expressed his sorrow at “an unbelievably sad day for Haven High and the wider community”.

He said: “Yesterday we were informed that a member of our academy had been taken away from his family and friends well before his time.

“To make the situation even worse, today he would have been celebrating his 13th birthday.

“He was a popular young man destined for a life of joy, happiness and success and today we should try to remember him in that way.”

In a Facebook post, the school said there had been a “very serious incident in the community”.

The school urged children and their parents to contact Lincolnshire police if they could help the investigation.

It added: “Many of you will have already seen details of this on social media. Due to the nature of the murder investigation we are unable to make any further comment. All we can ask at this time is for our community to be respectful and think about the feelings of the family who have lost a loved one, at this time of year.”

Police were called to Alcorn Green in Fishtoft at 10.22am on Saturday, where Roberts’ body was found in a common area at the rear of the street.

Speaking at the weekend, Det Supt Martyn Parker said: “This is a devastating incident in which a young boy has lost his life. The impact will no doubt be felt greatly in the community and beyond.

“This type of incident is not what we would expect to see within our communities. We are working with those affected to keep them informed and offer our support.

“I want to reassure the public that we will do all in our power to meticulously investigate the circumstances of this young boy’s death and we would urge anyone who has any information that could support this investigation to get in touch.”