Witness tells court about South Elmsall murder

A MAN who saw a former soldier being murdered on a South Elmsall street has told a court about the horror he witnessed.

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, pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday.

Joshua Covell, 19, told a jury at Leeds Crown Court on Friday how he saw an argument break out between Mr Smith and Richardson Senior outside the Mega Love takeaway, also on Barnsley Road.

He said: “Ian was pushing the older man. The older man was shouting at Ian. Ian punched him on the left side of his face and the older man stumbled down to the floor.

“And then he hit him again as he was getting up.”

He said how Mr Smith used his knee in Richardson’s chest one last time before the four other men turned up.

Mr Covell said: “The older man then said, ‘It’s your turn now mate.’

Mr Smith ran away and the other men chased him.

Mr Covell told the court how he saw Ackroyd kicking Mr Smith in the ribs and stomach and to the head several times. He then saw Richardson Junior strike him over the head with the ‘bat’ - a pick axe handle - three times.

The trial was adjourned on Monday due to a juror’s illness. It will continue on Tuesday.

See this week’s Express for the full story.