Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Bottle attack killer of Carlisle shop worker guilty of murder

A man who attacked a phone executive with a bottle at a south London event where singer Jessie J was performing has been found guilty of murder.

Ashley Charles, 26, was at the bar at Pulse nightclub when he grabbed a bottle from 37-year-old Phillip Sherriff's hand and slashed his neck.

Mr Sherriff used to work at The Link mobile phone shop in Carlisle until 2002.

The family lived at Edenhall, near Penrith, until Mr Sherriff’s work prompted a move to Lancashire.

At the Old Bailey in London yesterday, Charles, of Nevanthon Road, Leicester, was given a life sentence and told he will serve a minimum of 14 years.

The graphic designer had denied murder.

The attack happened at the bar at Pulse nightclub in Southwark, south London in April.

Charles claimed he acted in self-defence but Judge Paul Worsley said Charles killed Mr Sherriff because he was annoyed.

Father-of-two Mr Sherriff had travelled to London with colleagues for the promotion event organised by mobile phone company Blackberry, for which he worked.

Jurors heard Charles had travelled to London from Leicester with his brother and friends.

Judge Worsley told Charles: “Mr Sherriff may have pushed you in a crowded bar and made inoffensive remarks to a girl talking to you. You clearly became annoyed at what you perceived was the conduct of Mr Sherriff and lost your temper when he may have pushed against you at the bar.”

Charles grabbed a bottle from Mr Sherriff's hand, swung it behind him, breaking it, and slashed his neck.

The judge said Charles had done something “which was truly out of character”.

“I am satisfied you did not intend to kill Mr Sherriff and you were immediately remorseful,” he said.

Andrew Hall, defending Charles, said his client had acted “in a split second of madness”.

Mr Sheriff died four days after the attack.

Duncan Penny, prosecuting, said the clash came just after midnight once the performers had left.

As people tried to help Mr Sherriff, Charles was detained by security staff.

The court heard he asked them: “Is he OK? I wish I had not done that. It was a stupid mistake.”

And after being arrested by police the jury was told he said: “Yeah, I know I bottled him. He kept pushing past me through the bar area.”


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