04:13PM, Thursday 29 November 2018
A pub fight led to a 43-year-old man from Slough being stabbed more than 40 times during ‘six minutes of terrifying violence’, a jury has been told.
Charlie Ward, 36, of Eltham Avenue, Slough and his 58-year-old father John Ward, of Stoke Road, Slough, are both standing trial for the murder of Jason Gardner, who died following the incident at the Earl of Cornwall pub in Cippenham Lane in May.
The jury at Reading Crown Court heard today (Thursday) how on the evening of May 9, Charlie Ward was drinking at the nearby Long Barn pub, also in Cippenham Lane, when his wife Martina entered wearing her dressing gown.
The court was told Ward shouted ‘serve my f****** wife’ at barmaid Emma Mead, who was Mr Gardner’s girlfriend.
She refused the order, prompting Ward to chuck the contents of his glass at her, the jury heard.
Addressing the jury while showing them CCTV footage from the pub, prosecuting barrister Rossano Scamardella, delivering his opening statement, remarked how punters challenged Ward, calling him ‘out of order’.
Mr Scamardella said Ward’s ‘instant reaction at the first sign of confrontation’ was to pull a Stanley knife from his pocket, but he did not use it.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Mr Gardner and Ward having a conversation outside the pub which did not result in violence.
But the court heard how immediately after the conversation, Mrs Ward drove her husband to the Earl of Cornwall pub and Mr Gardner began planning how to track Ward down.
The jury heard how Mr Gardner, who had taped over his vehicle’s registration plate, stormed into the Earl of Cornwall wearing black clothing, a covered face and a large metal torch which he used to attack Ward, who was drinking with his wife and parents.
Mr Scamardella said that after Mr Gardner launched his attack ‘six minutes of terrifying violence’ followed, during which Charlie Ward pulled for his knife and slashed and stabbed Mr Gardner 41 times on his head, face and body.
Charlie Ward’s father John Ward got involved in the fight, and the jury heard how he held Mr Gardner down while his son continued stabbing him.
The court heard how the father and son’s wives had ‘tried desperately to stop them continuing their attack’ and Charlie Ward’s mother Winnie Ward removed the torch from the men’s reach.
CCTV footage showed blood over the front of Charlie Ward’s white shirt during the incident.
The prosecution said John Ward pulled Mr Gardner back in to the pub as he tried to head for the exit before pulling off a table leg with his bare hands ‘in a feat of considerable strength’.
The jury was told how John Ward was pointing at Mr Gardner, as he lay limp ‘in a pool of his own blood’ before throwing the table leg at him, kicking him and stamping on him.
Mr Gardner was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and was pronounced dead at 12.13pm the day after the attack.
Both defendants, who were arrested at the pub, had statements prepared for their police interviews by solicitors which said they had both feared for their safety, used proportionate force and did not use or possess any weapons.
The jury heard how John Ward said: “He walked in and tried to kill us, what was I supposed to do?”
Both men deny the charge.
The trial continues.
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