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Cippenham murder trial hears accounts of pub customers and police officers

A jury has heard eyewitness accounts from customers at a Cippenham pub where a dispute sparked by the manager’s refusal to serve someone led to her boyfriend’s death.

Charlie Ward, 36, of Eltham Avenue, Cippenham, and his 58-year-old father John Ward, of Stoke Road, Slough, are both standing trial for the murder of Jason Gardner, who died after a fight at the Earl of Cornwall pub in Cippenham Lane in May.

Both Charlie Ward and John Ward deny the charge. 

The jury at Reading Crown Court heard near the start of the trial in November how on the evening of May 9, Charlie Ward chucked his pint of lager over Emma Mead, Mr Gardner’s girlfriend, for refusing to serve his wife at the Long Barn pub in Cippenham Lane. This led to Mr Gardner plotting an attack that same evening on Charlie Ward, who had moved on to the Earl of Cornwall, the jury heard.

The jury heard how Mr Gardner hit Charlie Ward over the head with a metal torch which led to Charlie Ward stabbing him 41 times and his father John Ward kicking and stamping on him as he lay on the floor.

A witness statement from Long Barn pub regular Bradley Armstrong was read to the jury today (Thursday).

The carpenter, who had been coming to the pub nearly every day for the past eight years and always sits in the same seat, said he heard Miss Mead saying ‘I can’t serve your wife any more, she’s too drunk’ to Charlie Ward, before he emptied the contents of his glass over her.

He then says Mr Gardner came downstairs, used a derogatory term about travellers, was waving his arms and asked them to leave the pub.

Labourer Robert Lee Moody said after the incident he saw Mr Gardner looking ‘agitated’ before leaving the pub and was told by a barmaid that ‘Jason had gone to have words with the Irish male [Charlie Ward]’.

A statement from police officer Scott Thompson, who was called to the Long Barn Pub after Mr Gardner’s retaliatory attack, says that upon searching the deceased’s shorts, officers found ‘a brown handled implement which looked like it could hold some kind of blade in it’.

However, he said no blade was found in the brown handle, nor were any blades found in his pocket.

The trial continues.

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