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Great Yarmouth Murder Trial: Witness tells jury he still has ‘nightmares’ about fatal attack

06:32 08 March 2013

Bricklayers Arms pub on Nelson Road Central and Victoria Road in Great Yarmouth.
Ian Church died following an attack in May 2012 close to the pub. 

Picture: James Bass

Bricklayers Arms pub on Nelson Road Central and Victoria Road in Great Yarmouth. Ian Church died following an attack in May 2012 close to the pub. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

A former regular at a Great Yarmouth pub who had been drinking there the night a man was “kicked to death” outside said he still has “nightmares” about the attack, a court has heard.

Ian Church, 40, suffered bleeding to the brain and never regained consciousness after “mayhem” ensued outside the Bricklayers Arms pub in Nelson Road Central.

Mr Church was attacked, and his head stamped on and a bar stool smashed over him, Norwich Crown Court has been told.

Yarmouth men Todd Esherwood, 24, of Saxon Road, Tony Smith, 29, of Sidney Close, Stuart Layden, 30, of South Quay and Kent pair Kelly Taylor, 33, of Harris Road, Sheerness and Roy Smith, 31, of Ranelagh Road, Sheerness, are all charged with the murder of Mr Church in the early hours of May 5 last year. All deny murder.

Giving evidence yesterday Kevin Sharp said he had been drinking at the Alexandra pub in the town with Rosanna Buck and Carol Maynard before arriving at the Bricklayers Arms sometime after midnight.

He told Patricia Lynch QC, prosecuting, that Miss Buck was slapped in the face by Tony Smith, one of the accused, after they had “cross words”.

Mr Sharp said Miss Buck was then pushed out of the pub by others as she was “out of control” and asked to leave by the landlord.

The court heard the next disturbance occurred after a man wearing a green jacket entered the pub.

Mr Sharp said although he could not see the man, who went near to the pool table, he knew “there was something going on”.

He said the man then left and Esherwood later asked Mr Sharp if he had a cigarette but as they were leaving the pub a punch was thrown at the defendant (Esherwood).

Mr Sharp, who said he did not see who threw the punch, then returned inside the pub before the “pandemonium” started with windows being put through.

Esherwood, the landlord and others, including Tony Smith, went outside while Mr Sharp, who said he did not see who smashed the windows, remained inside.

More windows were then put through and Mr Sharp said “someone turned round and said ‘He’s got a machete’”.

Although not sure if that referred to the man in the green jacket, Mr Sharp said he heard “shouting and screaming” outside.

He said Esherwood and the others came back into the pub about 15 minutes after they had gone out.

Mr Sharp said he went outside to find the landlord “crying and screaming”, kneeling over the person who was on the floor.

He told the jury of 12 it had been a “normal Friday night” in the pub with a “bit of banter” earlier in the evening but that the mood had changed to “panic” when the glass started breaking.

He said: “I still have nightmares about what went on” adding “I wouldn’t ever go back in that pub”.

During cross-examination by Michael Clare, defending Tony Smith, Mr Sharp was asked if he could have “got things confused” when he said it was Smith who had slapped Miss Buck. Mr Sharp replied: “I might’ve done.”

The trial continues.

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