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Frankie Watson to stand trial for murder of teenage boys in Brentwood, Essex

A man accused of stabbing two 16-year-old boys to death in Brentwood will stand trial for their murders in August next year.

Frankie Watson, 19, was remanded in custody at Chelmsford prison following a brief hearing at Basildon Crown Court this morning.

Judge Ian Graham told the defendant from Orsett, Essex, that he would next to attend court in December when he would be asked to enter a plea.

Watson, who wore a prison-issue blue and yellow track-suit spoke only to confirm his name and that he could observe court proceedings via video link from the jail.

The teenager is accused of killing Charlie Preston and Frankie Gater, both 16, from Romford, Essex and the attempted murder of another boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He is also accused of being possession of an offensive weapon.

Frankie Watson, 19, has been charged with two counts of murder, one charge of attempted murder and one charge of possession of an offensive weapon

 Charlie Preston from Romford, (left) died alongside his friend Frankie Gater, also aged 16, (right) when they were attacked in the centre of Brentwood, Essex

Forensic officers survey the scene of the incident in Brentwood on Sunday, October 24

Tributes have flooded in for the 'much loved' pair of 16-year-olds, with Frankie's cousin Charlie Gater writing on Facebook: 'Words can't describe how sad I feel for your mum and dad Frankie. Rest in paradise.' 

Charlie's grieving 37-year-mother, Kirsti Preston also spoke of her pain after losing her first-born son.

She said: 'I am broken. I don't know how I am going to be able to deal with this. I have lost my first-born child.' 

Essex Police said officers were called to Regency Court at about 1.30am on Sunday and found three people had been injured with stab wounds, including two teenagers who later died from their injuries.

The third person was treated for non-life threatening injuries, the force added.

Eight men aged between 19 and 49, including Watson, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are being interviewed by detectives. The 19-year-old is the only one to have been charged so far.

Essex Police say their investigations into the tragic events continue.