A former soldier was brutally murdered by a gang of five men who attacked him with a pick axe handle and repeatedly kicked him in the head after a dispute outside a takeaway, a court heard.
Ian Smith, 22, suffered massive head injuries as horrified witnesses looked on after the group chased him through South Elmsall town centre.
John Simon Richardson, 23, of Kinsley House Crescent, Fitzwilliam, has pleaded guilty to murder. His father, John Dean Richardson 44, of Wakefield Road, Fitzwilliam, Bradley Parkin, 22, of Mallard Mews, South Elmsall, Neil Brown, 29, also of Mallard Mews, and Liam Ackroyd, 22, of Bell Lane Ackworth, are on trial where they deny murder. A jury heard Mr Smith was attacked and left for dead on the pavement in the early hours of February 19 this year.
Earlier in the evening he had been out with family celebrating his aunt’s 60th birthday and had gone to meet his girlfriend, Sarah Brook, at the Mega Love takeaway when he was involved in a dispute with John Dean Richardson. Julian Goose QC, prosecuting, said John Dean Richardson had been in an altercation with a group of other youths, not connected with Mr Smith, moments earlier as he also walked to the takeaway. This caused him to phone Brown and the other three men who were all drinking at his flat on Mallard Mews.
As Mr Smith was stood with food at the takeaway he was then involved in an argument with John Dean Richardson. Mr Smith punched him twice and pushed him to the ground. Moments later the four men arrived in a van and a car and John Dean Richardson told Mr Smith: “Now it’s your turn.”
John Simon Richardson took a pick axe handle from the van and the group gave chase before carrying out the attack.
Mr Goose said: “They shared the same intention. They wanted to cause Ian smith really serious harm. Each of them joined the attack which was aimed at the head and neck area.”