Mon, 14 Nov 2022
Haines and Wiggett were unanimously convicted of murder following a 4-week trial prosecuted by Michael Duck KC leading Andrew Wallace.
On 13th June 2021, England were playing Croatia in the European Championships. Haines (26) and Wiggett (28) were at the Greenlands Inn, Longbridge having spent the day drinking lager and shots of alcohol and watching the game. After 8pm Haines became physically aggressive towards another customer inside the pub, and he was asked to leave. Both and he and Wiggett went outside.
A group of 3 men including the deceased Jason D’Aguilar (33) were passing by, and one of them either spoke or looked in a funny way towards Haines and Wiggett. Seeking a physical confrontation, Haines and Wiggett followed the 3 men to Station Square, Longbridge. The 3 men all backed off and split up. However, Haines and Wiggett chose to hunt down and chase the biggest of the 3, Mr D’Aguilar. They pursued him relentlessly for 5 minutes until in Central Avenue Mr D’Aguilar was unable to escape them any longer. Catching him up Haines and Wiggett subjected Mr D’Aguilar to a ferocious assault which lasted about a minute and involved punching, kicking and stamping to his head.
Mr D’Aguilar defenceless on his back on the ground did not offer or return a single blow. Haines and Wiggett then left him at the scene, after one of D’Aguilar’s friends caught up with them and persuaded them to desist.
Mr D’Aguilar collapsed a short time after the attack, and lost consciousness, from which he never recovered. He died the following morning in hospital from complications caused by his injuries.
The attack happened in broad daylight, in front of numerous local residents. One member of the public recorded most of the incident on their mobile phone and forwarded it to the Police.
In subsequent communications, each Defendant boasted of the attack. Haines said, “He tried to run away and fell over, so I absolutely destroyed him” and that “it was relieving to smash someone’s face in”. Wiggett also talked of having “smashed someone’s face in”.
One of their stamps left a trainer imprint on Mr D’Aguilar’s forehead which remained there after his death.
Despite this, both men denied they had intended any serious harm to Mr D’Aguilar, and suggested that it was simply unfortunate that he had died from injuries which most individuals would have survived.
The jury rejected their defences.
Sentence will take place on 19th December 2022.
Read more here.