A MAN has been acquitted of murdering Kai Archer in Bournemouth – but a jury found him guilty of manslaughter.

Jamie Frank Higgs, aged 19 and of Windsor Road, Bournemouth, was convicted on Wednesday, August 5, of the manslaughter of the 20-year-old following a 12-day trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Mr Archer died after he was stabbed three times following an altercation with Higgs in St Swithun’s Road on the evening of Saturday, November 16, 2019.

Earlier that evening, Mr Archer was at his home address socialising with Higgs and a teenage girl. During this time, Mr Archer arranged to meet a teenage boy and it was agreed that Higgs and the girl would accompany him.

Just before 10pm the group left Mr Archer’s home address and walked along St Swithun’s Road toward the junction with Knyveton Road. Higgs appeared agitated before leaving and asked if he was being set up.

As they were walking, Higgs struck Mr Archer to the back of the head with a WKD bottle, which he then discarded and was later recovered by officers.

Shortly afterwards the group met up with the boy, who was in the company of a male friend, outside Bournemouth Pizza Company. Mr Archer made the comment “he bottled me” and an altercation then occurred between him and Higgs.

During the incident, witnesses described seeing Higgs jabbing at Mr Archer who fell sideways onto a car and slipped onto the floor while bleeding heavily from his abdomen.

At 10.10pm, Dorset Police was called to a report of a stabbing. Officers attended, assisted by the ambulance service, and Mr Archer was taken to hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination was carried out and revealed that Mr Archer died as a result of three stab wounds to the left side of his chest and abdomen.

A full investigation was launched led by detectives from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).

Clothing that Higgs was wearing on the night was seized and found to have blood on it that provided a DNA match to Kai Archer.

Detective Inspector Rich Dixey, of MCIT, said: “This case demonstrates how carrying a knife can have catastrophic consequences, which ultimately led to the death of Kai Archer.

“Our thoughts remain with Kai’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

Higgs is due to be sentenced on Thursday, August 6.