Pair 'beat man to death after sex taunts'

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The Independent Online
A FATHER and his son battered a man to death after being taunted about child sex allegations, a court was told yesterday.

Peter Davis was bludgeoned after being chased along a road by the two men, who were angry that he had thrown a stone through their window, it was alleged at Winchester Crown Court. John Steven Wright, 33 and his father, also John, 58, deny murder.

They told police that they had been persecuted by people, including Mr Davis, who claimed that John Steven Wright had molested children.

The jury was told both men had chased Mr Davis before the beating, with the father yelling: 'Get the bastard - kill the bastard.'

Anthony Donne QC, for the prosecution, said: 'The background to the events starts with the arrest of Wright junior in March 1992 on suspicion of indecently assaulting a four-year-old girl, the daughter of a friend with whom he lodged.'

He added that John Steven Wright, who lived with his parents in Lee Road, Gosport, Hampshire, had not stood trial for the alleged offence, because of the murder inquiry.

'The fact of the arrest and charging of Mr Wright became known in the locality.'

The judge, Mr Justice Jowitt, was told that Mr Davis, of Savage Close, Gosport, had told friends he was going to see the Wrights to tell them to 'keep to their side of town'.

Mr Donne said that a man called David Stilwell saw what happened. 'The father was shouting, 'Get the bastard, kill the bastard.' The son caught up with Mr Davis. Mr Stilwell then saw the son hit Mr Davis on the head with the pickaxe handle.'

In police interviews the father and son said they had attacked Mr Davis after months of persecution at the hands of him and his friends.

Mr Donne said although the prosecution accepted it was John Steven Wright and not his father who dealt the fatal blows, both men were charged with murder because the attack was a 'joint enterprise'.

The case continues today.

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