Father and son murder trial reaches final stages

Winsford Road in Bury St Edmunds where Neil Charles was fatally wounded

Neil Charles (inset) died after suffering a knife wound in Winsford Road, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant/Supplied

The trial of a Suffolk father and son accused of the “vigilante” killing of a thief who tried the door handles of cars outside their home has reached its final stages.

The prosecution and defence have now closed their cases and next week barristers in the trial at Ipswich Crown Court will make their closing speeches to the jury.

Judge Martyn Levett will then sum up the case, which started in March, to the jury before the panel retires to consider its verdicts.

Before the court are David King, 55, of Radnor Close, Bury St Edmunds, and his 19-year-old son Edward King, of the same address.

They have denied murdering Neil Charles on June 20 last year and an alternative charge of manslaughter. 

It has been alleged that the pair hunted down  Mr Charles and stabbed him after he tried the door handles of cars parked outside their home.

Prosecution counsel, Christopher Paxton QC, has claimed they delivered their "own form of justice" on Mr Charles in the early hours of the morning around 70 metres from their family home.

Most Read

Mr Charles suffered a 12cm single stab wound to the chest and a slash wound to his knee and died two days later.

Mr Paxton said Mr Charles had a "long career" as a thief and burglar and the prosecution accepted he was out that night stealing or looking to steal. 

Mr Paxton claimed the defendants had an "obsession" with weapons and at their home had knives, knuckledusters, machetes, and shotguns - which David King had licences for as a registered firearms holder. 

During the trial David King claimed that Mr Charles suffered the fatal knife wound to his chest after running onto a military knife he was holding in his outstretched hand.

He claimed he had pulled the knife out of his pocket after Mr Charles threw his bike at him and then moved his hand towards a pocket.

King admitted failing to mention in a 999 call shortly after the incident that his son Edward had left their house with a 27 inch Ninja sword on the night in question and explained that he wanted to leave his son out of it as he hadn’t been present when Mr Charles suffered the fatal wound.

Edward King chose not to give evidence during the trial.