South Elmsall murder was ‘revenge’ attack

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FIVE men murdered a former soldier in a ‘revenge’ attack, a court heard today (Thursday).

Ian Mark Smith, 22, of Boycott Way, South Elmsall, died from head injuries after being attacked on Barnsley Road on February 19.

John Dean Richardson, 44, of Wakefield Road, Fitzwilliam, Neil Brown, 29, and Bradley Jake Parkin, 22, both of Mallard Mews, South Elmsall, and Liam Mark Ackroyd, 22, of Bell Lane, Ackworth, all deny murder and violent disorder.

John Simon Richardson, 23, of Kinsley House Crescent, Fitzwilliam, has pleaded guilty to murder.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard earlier in the trial that Richardson senior called Brown for help after he was attacked close to where the fatal assault took place.

Julian Goose QC said that all the men were guilty of the murder.

He said: “The men embarked on a joint attack on Ian Smith and killed him. They all joined in kicking and stamping.”

He said all the men saw the ‘bat’- a plastic pick axe handle - and that they were there for ‘revenge’ following the call to Brown.

None of the four defendents gave evidence but the jury was addressed by their lawyers during closing speeches.

Frances Oldham QC, for Parkin, questioned whether her client was even there when the fatal blow took place after he told police during interview he didn’t see Richardson junior hit Mr Smith.

She said: “He may be, in my words, a rough diamond but does that make him a murderer?”

She said he gave a full and frank disclosure during interview, whene he admitted to stamping on Mr Smith once.

The trial continues.