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Teen watched in horror as man stabbed

PUBLISHED: 10:20 18 January 2007 | UPDATED: 12:18 22 October 2010

A teenager watched in horror as a pub landlord stabbed one of his customers to death in a knife attack, a court was told. Steven French stabbed Christopher Garford 23 times with a kitchen knife in the head, neck and chest during a fight at the Wisbech Arms pub in Exchange Square, Wisbech, on June 3 last year, the prosecution in his murder trial alleges.

A teenager watched in horror as a pub landlord stabbed one of his customers to death in a knife attack, a court was told.

Steven French stabbed Christopher Garford 23 times with a kitchen knife in the head, neck and chest during a fight at the Wisbech Arms pub in Exchange Square, Wisbech, on June 3 last year, the prosecution in his murder trial alleges.

French, 50, who lives above the pub, denies murder. His defence claims it was Mr Garford who first pulled the knife and French had been subjected to verbal and physical assaults from customers since taking over the Wisbech Arms.

Yesterday, the jury at Cambridge Crown Court heard video evidence from Ricky Lake, 18, who was interviewed by police after Mr Garford's death.

Mr Lake told officers he had gone to the pub at around 10.30pm and French and Mr Garford had begun fighting after a row over late-night drinking.

Mr Lake said Mr Garford had thrown a bottle or glass at French, but missed and hit the landlord's 10-year-old daughter. He said French had "lost it" after the missile was thrown.

He said at one point Mr Garford was on the floor with French on top of him, hitting him. He said: "Chrissy [Mr Garford] was saying, 'Is that all you have got?'"

Mr Lake said French was punching Mr Garford and singing at the same time. He said Mr Garford was trying to get back up onto his knees when French pulled a knife from his trousers.

He said: "Then he went whack in his back." He added that, as French stabbed Mr Garford, he told him: "Have this."

Mr Lake said there was a lot of blood. He said Mr Garford screamed and tried to get up. It was then that French stabbed him again, this time in the neck, he added.

"It was horrible," he told officers. "Steve just gone bang in his neck."

Mr Lake said his father, who was also in the pub, shouted to French that he had killed Mr Garford.

The jury was shown a second taped police interview, which was taken five days after the first in which Mr Lake told the officers it was a glass which was thrown at French prior to the fight.

He also said French and Mr Garford had been involved in a fight two weeks before.

He said that after the stabbing he and his father left the pub after his father, who has not been named yet in court, told him they should just get out.

The trial continues.


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