A 16-year-old boy has been cleared of killing a man who was shot dead outside a petrol station, while a second teenager who is accused of pulling the trigger remains on the run.

John Pordage, 34, was killed by a single shot to the chest at a BP garage in Chelmsford, Essex, following an altercation with a group of teenagers.

He was returning from a nightclub and on his way to buy cigarettes when he was attacked at around 2.10am on August 5 last year at the garage in Baddow Road.

John Pordage was gunned down outside a petrol station (Essex Police/PA)John Pordage was gunned down outside a petrol station (Essex Police/PA)

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter following a four-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex Police said.

Tracy Ayling QC, prosecuting, had told the trial that the 16-year-old was with a second teenager, Bradley Blundell.

She said Blundell, who was 17 at the time and is now 18, shot Mr Pordage.

Blundell remains on the run from police, and officers believe he may be using Ibiza as a base.

Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Following the trial, DCI Martin Pasmore of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “We remain determined to locate Bradley Blundell and bring him to trial.

“I appeal to Bradley to give himself up.

“We will never give up searching for him and we are liaising with the National Crime Agency and colleagues abroad to locate him.”

The 16-year-old boy admitted perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods.

His co-defendant Saul Stanley, 18, of no fixed address, was found guilty of two counts of possessing a prohibited firearm, one count of possessing ammunition without a certificate and perverting the course of justice.

He was cleared of two further counts of possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate.

He admitted handling stolen goods.

Stanley and the 16-year-old are due to be sentenced on March 2.