Leicester man in court over London nightclub death where Jessie J performed
A Leicester man has gone on trial charged with the murder of a guest at a nightclub where singer Jessie J had been performing.
Ashley Charles (26) is accused of slashing telephone executive Phillip Sherriff in the neck with a broken beer bottle during the event.
Jurors at the Old Bailey, in London, were told yesterday that 37-year-old Mr Sherriff had been at the bar of the Pulse nightclub, in central London, when there was jostling by Charles, who was trying to get free beer.
After becoming irritated, Charles grabbed a bottle from Mr Sherriff's hand and slashed it into his neck in a second, said Duncan Penny, prosecuting.
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"Eyewitnesses described it as a swipe or slash," said Mr Penny. "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. He died four days later in hospital.
He had travelled to London from Preston, Lancashire, with colleagues for the promotion event in April, organised by mobile phone company BlackBerry, where he worked in management.
Charles had travelled to London with his brother and friends from Leicester to attend the event, where Jessie J and others performed.
Mr Penny said the clash occurred just after midnight, after the performers had left.
He alleged Charles became annoyed with Mr Sherriff who was joking about. Charles had been trying to get to the bar and squeezed between Mr Sherriff and a woman.
"He continued to jostle Mr Sherriff after he obtained two bottles of free beer," said Mr Penny.
Words were exchanged about the woman and Charles tried to grab Mr Sherriff's mobile phone from his hand before snatching the bottle "in a flash".
As people tried to help Mr Sherriff, Charles was detained by security staff. The jury was told he asked them: "Is he okay? I wish I hadn't done that. It was a stupid mistake."
After being arrested, Charles said: "Yeah, I know I bottled him. He kept pushing past me through the bar area."
Charles, of Nevanthon Road, Western Park, denies murder.
The trial continues.