Leicester man found guilty of bottle attack murder at London nightclub
A Leicester man has been found guilty of murdering a phone executive with a bottle at a south London nightclub.
Ashley Charles (26) of Nevanthon Road, was found guilty of murdering Phillip Sherriff, 37, and given a life sentence and told he will serve a minimum of 14 years at the Old Bailey.
Mr Sherriff, from Preston, Lancashire, died in April four days after being attacked at Pulse nightclub in central London, where singer Jessie J was performing.
Charles had denied the charge, claiming he was acting in self-defence.
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The Old Bailey heard that Charles and Mr Sherriff, previously unknown to each other, were both at the bar in the nightclub on April 4 at around midnight during a corporate event sponsored by Blackberry, the victim's employer.
Both men exchanged words as Charles tried to get to the free bar, prompting him to attempt to grab a phone from Mr Sherriff's hand, which he failed to do.
Seconds later, Charles took a bottle of beer out of the Mr Sherriff's other hand and then jabbed the broken remnants into the left side of Mr Sherriff's neck.
Charles was arrested by club security staff while some of the 600 in attendance at the venue also attempted to stem the bleeding from Mr Sherriff's neck.
Mr Sherriff died as a result of his injuries on April 8 at Royal London Hospital.
In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, Mr Sherriff's wife, Jane, said: "I have always known that whatever the outcome today, nothing will fill the massive hole left when my husband Phil was so brutally taken away from us. However, I'm glad that justice has been done.
"I would like to thank the people who helped Phil when he was attacked - the paramedics and staff at the Royal London Hospital who tried to save him.
"I wish to thank the police and the CPS, whose enduring professionalism led to this outcome, and the witnesses who stood in court to give evidence.
"I also want to thank the thousands of people all over the world who have offered their support to my campaign to ban glass bottles from late night city centre clubs and pubs.
"With their help I will be fighting hard to make sure no other families experience the hell we have been put through due to the actions of one man.
"Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends. They have helped me through the darkest days imaginable. Now I face the challenge of moving on to the next chapter of my life."
Detective Inspector Richard Beadle said: "Philip Sherriff died horrifically in a way that is almost too ghastly to describe. He was killed by Ashley Charles following a single blow to the neck with a smashed beer bottle. The moment Charles severed his artery, Philip had no chance of surviving.
"Since that moment, Charles has shown incredible remorse, but sadly not for Philip Sherriff, only for himself. I deplore his defence tactics of promoting his own character as admirable whilst willing to tarnish that of a dead man who can no longer speak.
"He manufactured a defence that besmirched Philip's character and presented a catalogue of lies about what was said and done in the moments before he attacked Philip. This was a cowardly act from a cowardly man who could not face the consequences of his sickening behaviour.”