John Butterfield QC leads prosecution at stab-death murder trial

Mon, 14 Jan 2019

No5 Barristers’ Chambers’ John Butterfield QC is leading the prosecution of a man accused of killing his friend with a single stab wound last summer.

He acts together with Andrew Wallace, also of No5 Barristers’ Chambers.

Ryan Preston, 27, of Hermitage Road, Wyken, denies murdering Daniel Kennell, also 27, and from St Austell Road, Wyken. Preston’s mother Tracey Preston, 53, of Hermitage Road, has denied assisting an offender.

Outlining the case at Warwick Crown Court Mr Butterfield read a statement from the victim’s mother Amanda Bates.

Mr Butterfield said Amanda Bates recalled a time that Daniel and Ryan Preston were at the family home and Daniel was being "disrespectful” and Preston "found that funny”.

She stated: "I was unhappy with this behaviour and told them both to get out.”

She said Ryan Preston came across as "cocky and arrogant” and she told him not to come to her home again.

Mr Butterfield said she was aware the two men had continued to be friends and had come home to find him there in June 2018.

The court was told that on July 8 a neighbour in St Austell Road had witnessed two men in the middle of the street, one of whom, Mr Kennell, was topless.

The witness said the topless man was "shuffling backwards” while the other moved forward and shouted "yeah, yeah, come on then”.

She told the court she then saw the man with a top on "jab” at the topless man at waist height.

A post-mortem examination showed that the wound penetrated Mr Kennell’s heart and also caused damage to his stomach and spleen.  The fight culminated in Mr Kennell’s death.

Mr Butterfield said that Ryan Preston "quickly made himself scarce” after stabbing Mr Kennell and was driven from the scene by his mother. 

Speaking of the charge against Preston’s mother, Mr Butterfield said "no parent, no matter how keenly they would want to support their son, should agree to drive him away from a stabbing he’d just committed.”

The case continues.

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