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David Gaut: Child killer mutilated so badly 'you could not tell how many times he was stabbed', court hears

Fifty-four-year-old had one knife plunged so hard into his sternum, the tip broke off and stayed there, jury told

Colin Drury
Thursday 14 February 2019 13:06 GMT
David Gaut: Police cordon in Welsh town of New Tredegar

A convicted child killer was murdered and mutilated so horrifically that investigators could not say exactly how many times he was stabbed, a court in Wales has heard.

David Gaut, was allegedly held down on the floor of his neighbour's flat and repeatedly knifed leaving him with "gaping wounds" across his body.

David Osborne, 51, and Ieuan Harley, 23, are accused of carrying out the killing just hours after learning the 54-year-old, of New Tredegar, had served three decades in prison for murdering a 15-month-old baby in 1985.

Some of the injuries – at least 150 of which were delivered while he was alive and another 26 after his death – were said to be so gruesome that pictures were withheld from the jury at Newport Crown Court.

Ben Douglas-Jones QC, prosecuting, said Gaut suffered grouped stab injuries across his body, as well as wounds to his skull, both eyes, neck, and near his mouth.

At one point, a knife was plunged so hard into his sternum, the tip broke off and remained embedded there.

Mr Douglas-Jones said: "He was conscious and unable to move. He was held in one place."

He claimed Mr Harley and Mr Osborne used two knives, one which had later been cleaned and left on a draining board in Mr Osborne's flat, to stab Gaut while he was still alive, and a screwdriver after his death.

Mark Cotter QC, representing Mr Osborne, said the evidence "falls short" of proving his client had been involved in the attack.

He pointed out a second knife has never been found.

Mr Harley declined to give evidence but his barrister, Caroline Rees QC, told the court he had been asleep in another room in Mr Osborne's flat at the time of the slaying.

Although his clothes were discovered drenched in Gaut’s blood by police, she added, they must have been stolen and worn by the killer.

The jury heard that hours before Gaut died on 2 August 2018, his neighbours in Long Row, New Tredegar, discovered he had not been to prison for murdering a soldier but for killing baby Chi Ming Shek.

Mr Osborne, from Long Row, Elliots Town, New Tredegar and Mr Harley, of no fixed address, deny the murder.

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Mr Harley and Darran Evesham, 47, from Powell's Terrace, New Tredegar, also deny perverting the course of justice, which Mr Osborne admits.

Mr Evesham had earlier been acquitted of murder on the direction of the judge.

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