Leicester man Ashley Charles jailed for bottle-attack murder at Jessie J party
A man was jailed for a minimum of 14 years yesterday for killing a dad-of-two with a broken bottle after a gig by pop star Jessie J.
Ashley Charles, 26, of Nevanthon Road, Western Park, Leicester, was found guilty of murdering Phillip Sherriff and given a life sentence at the Old Bailey in London.
Mr Sherriff, 37, died in hospital four days after being attacked at Pulse nightclub in central London. He suffered a cut to his carotid artery and jugular vein during the attack just after midnight on April 4.
Charles, a graphic designer, denied the charge, claiming he acted in self-defence, but judge Paul Worsley said he killed Mr Sherriff, of Preston, Lancashire, because he was annoyed.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Charles, a Loughborough University graduate, travelled to London for a party organised by Blackberry – the firm Mr Sherriff worked for.
The judge told Charles: "This is a tragic case. Mr Sherriff may have pushed you in a crowded bar and made inoffensive remarks to a girl talking to you.
"You clearly became annoyed at what you perceived was the conduct of Mr Sherriff and lost your temper when he may have pushed against you at the bar."
The court had heard how Charles took a beer bottle from Mr Sherriff's hand and swung it behind him, where it broke, and then plunged it into Mr Sherriff's neck.
Judge Worsley told him: "You did not deliberately smash the bottle you used. I am satisfied you did not intend to kill Mr Sherriff and you were immediately remorseful."
Duncan Penny, prosecuting, said Charles had been trying to get free beer at the bar at the promotional event.
CCTV showed Charles grabbing the bottle and plunging it into his victim's neck. Mr Penny said: "It happened very, very quickly indeed – perhaps one second, one second to take a life."
Mr Sherriff began to bleed profusely as vital blood vessels had been cut.
Mr Penny said the clash occurred just after midnight after Jessie J and other performers had left. As people tried to help Mr Sherriff, Charles was detained by staff.
Charles asked them: "Is he okay? I wish I had not done that. It was a stupid mistake."
After being arrested by police, he said: "Yeah, I know I bottled him. He kept pushing past me through the bar area."
Andrew Hall QC, for Charles, said his client had acted "in a split second of madness''.
Mr Sherriff's wife Jane said in a statement to the court she had launched a campaign to ban glass bottles and glasses from bars and clubs.
Addressing Charles, she said: "I will never let another person like you devastate another family. Your actions have devastated so many people's lives."
Mrs Sherriff said organ donations from her husband saved three other lives, but the lives of her family, including her two young daughters, had been ruined by Mr Sherriff's killing.
After the hearing, Detective Inspector Richard Beadle said: "Philip Sherriff died horrifically in a way that is almost too ghastly to describe.''