Killer who stabbed man to death in pub brawl that began when he threw a pint over the victim’s barmaid girlfriend is jailed for life – two years after his dad was found guilty of beating the victim with a table leg
- Charlie Ward, 38, killed 43-year-old Jason Gardner in a six-minute attack in 2018
- Row was sparked when Ward threw a pint of beer in the face of victim’s girlfriend
- Mr Gardner confronted Ward, who slashed and stabbed him in the face 31 times
- Ward was today jailed for 20 years for murder and possession of a bladed article
A killer who stabbed a father-of-two to death with a Stanley knife in a pub brawl has today been handed a life sentence.
Charlie Ward, 38, killed 43-year-old Jason Gardner in a six-minute attack after his father John Ward dragged the victim back inside the public house in Slough, Berkshire, as he tried to escape.
The victim’s girlfriend Emma Mead, a barmaid, had refused to serve Ward’s wife earlier in the evening because she was wearing a dressing gown and no shoes. He threw a pint off beer in her face, a judge heard.
Mr Gardner then plotted revenge against Ward, following him to the Earl of Cornwall pub to confront him, armed with a metal torch. Bursting through the doors he attacked Ward, who was sat with his family.
Ward then pulled a Stanley knife from his pocket and, with his father, pinned down the victim, slashing and stabbing at him 31 times.
Appearing over video link today, Ward had his hands clasped as he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder and possession of a bladed article.
It comes two years after his father was found guilty of beating the victim with a table leg and convicted with manslaughter.
Charlie Ward (pictured above), 38, killed 43-year-old Jason Gardner in a six-minute attack after his father John Ward dragged the victim back inside the public house in Slough, Berkshire
Mr Gardner (above) had plotted revenge against Ward, following him to the Earl of Cornwall pub to confront him after he threw a pint of beer in his girlfriend’s face
Prosecuting counsel Rossano Scamardella QC said: ‘Mr Gardner was the initial aggressor, there is no question about that. Charlie Ward had thrown a pint of beer in the face of a barmaid who had refused to serve him.
‘But Mr Gardner had 31 stab and slash wounds to his head, neck and face. The skin on his cheek was slashed open so you could see his teeth, he had been stabbed in the eye where his blood pooled.
‘He begged the officers giving him first aid for help. Charlie Ward caused physical and mental suffering to him before his death.’
The victim tried to leave but was ‘dragged’ back inside the pub by John, who ripped the leg off a wooden table and used it to beat him in May 2018.
In January 2019, Charlie Ward was convicted of murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison, while his father was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for nine years.
John was celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife, Winnie, in the public house when the killing took place.
Following a successful Court of Appeal hearing, a second murder trial for Charlie Ward was conducted at Reading Crown Court and he was convicted of murder and possession of a bladed article once again.
During the attack, Winnie and Charlie Ward’s wife Martina tried to get the men to stop and even attempted to drag them off Mr Gardner.
A forensic officer pictured holding the table leg used against Mr Gardner in the revenge row. Ward, of Slough, Berkshire, was today sentenced to 20 years
Charlie Ward threw beer over Mr Gardner’s girlfriend at the Long Barn pub before moving to the Earl of Cornwall a mile away
Despite being revived at the scene in Cippenham, Mr Gardner died the next day at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford following a cardiac arrest and undergoing emergency surgery through the night.
Defending Charlie Ward today, barrister Jeremy Dein said: ‘Jason Gardner carefully plotted an attack on Charlie Ward, executing the attack upon a man who was not looking for trouble.
‘Jason Gardner choose to arm himself and go to the public house and attack Charlie Ward. Mrs Ward is left with seven children spanning the ages of 19 years to three years and no father.
‘He has missed becoming a grandfather. I do not try to undermine Mr Gardner’s death but these are factors that need to be reflected. As a consequence of the decision Jason Gardner made and the actions he took, the lives of two families were wrecked and devastated.
Forensic officers pictured at the scene in 2018. The victim tried to leave but was ‘dragged’ back inside the pub by John, who ripped the leg off a wooden table and used it to beat him
The Earl of Cornwall pub, pictured above. Following a successful Court of Appeal hearing, a second murder trial for Charlie Ward was conducted at Reading Crown Court and he was convicted of murder and possession of a bladed article once again
‘Albeit the consequences of Jason Gardner’s family could be seen as worse, Charlie Ward’s family are living a nightmare.’
Sitting in Reading Crown Court, Judge Amjad Nawaz concluded: ‘In my judgement, the starting point of this is 25 years in prison. I reduce this to 20 years to reflect mitigating factors.
‘There was an intention to do grievous bodily harm not to kill, the violence was initiated by the deceased and not Charlie Ward. He was initially acting in self defence and I do not lose sight of his age.
‘He is a family man, he has seven children, both his parents are alive and he is deprived of their companionship, as are they. He will miss many family events and he has been in custody since 2018 including the pandemic.’
Ward, of Slough, Berkshire, was sentenced to 20 years, 1,211 days of which was deducted due to the time he already spent in custody following his arrest in 2018.
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