Pub brawl victim was left with stab wound to heart
‘I felt sharp pains digging into me’
A scaffolder was left fighting for his life after he suffered five stab wounds to his chest – one penetrating and cutting his heart – in a brawl outside a pub, a court heard.
Darran Bean spent almost a month in intensive care and was said to have survived solely due to the medical care he was given both at the scene and in hospital.
A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard this week that the 47-year-old was given vital first aid by staff and drinkers at The Rose Inn at Kennington as he went into cardiac arrest from his wounds.
Five paramedics then treated him on the pub floor before he was taken first to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and then on to King’s College Hospital in London where he underwent open heart surgery.
Paul Bristow, 25, of Chilmington Green, Great Chart, Ashford, denies attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding Mr Bean with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Andrew Espley said while Bristow accepts he was at the pub in Faversham Road, Ashford, on October 2 last year, he denies stabbing Mr Bean.
However, he added that Bristow’s actions after the violence may “shed some light” on whether he was guilty or not. The car he had been travelling in was cleaned and his Facebook account had been deleted by October 12
At the start of the two-week trial, Mr Espley said: “The number of times that Paul Bristow stabbed Darran Bean, taken together with the location of the wounds – the left side of the chest and all close to his heart with one actually penetrating and cutting the heart – mean that Paul Bristow, at the moment he did that, intended to kill Mr Bean.
“That is why you would stab someone in one of the most vulnerable areas of the body not once or twice, or three or four times, but five times.”
The court heard no weapon was ever found so it was not known what was used to inflict the wounds.
The stabbing also took place in what was described as the pub’s CCTV “blind spot”.
The pub was said to be busy that evening with a group of travellers wetting a baby’s head and Mr Bean drinking with colleagues.
The court heard the groups were all drinking amiably with no trouble.
However, the atmosphere changed when Paul Bristow and his friend, James Fuller, arrived at about 11.20pm.
Mr Espley said although there was a history of bad blood between Mr Bean and Bristow family members, there was no ill-feeling between Mr Bean and Paul Bristow himself.
People in the pub sensed “friction” between Bristow, his friend and the celebrating travellers, and just before midnight Mr Fuller was ordered to leave by staff and Bristow followed.
It was at this point Bristow allegedly invited Mr Bean outside for a fight.
At first the two men exchanged punches in the car park, hitting each other to the head, said the prosecutor.
But then Mr Bean realised he had been stabbed while being effectively restrained by Bristow, said Mr Espley.
“He felt sharp pains and Paul Bristow had his arm around the back Mr Bean told police he thought he and Bristow were simply going to fight with fists.
In a recorded interview made just days after he was released from hospital, the 47-year-old spoke of a history of bad-feeling between himself and the Bristow family.
He had been drinking in the pub when Paul Bristow and another man he knew as Jay arrived.
Mr Bean told police Bristow became “loud and mouthy” and offered him a fight outside.
The men went to the car park and began to punch each other to the head as three or four others watched.
Mr Bean said he could not recall the number of blows exchanged but then felt being stabbed.
“The next thing I knew there were sharp pains digging into me. I knew it was a knife.
“I didn’t actually see it but I just felt stabbing pains. Then he [Bristow] stopped and everyone just dispersed. I staggered back into the pub and said ‘I think I’ve been stabbed’.”
Mr Bean said as he felt the pain he saw Bristow moving his arm into his chest. He put his arm around me around the back of my head and was just stabbing me. He was . right in front of me. We were virtually up against each other.”
He also told police the people who had been watching moved away as soon as he was stabbed.
“I think they were shocked that he done it. They just shot off.
Mr Bean denied he had been armed with anything himself and said he thought the fight with Bristow would just involve fists.
“I have had a few rows in my time but always fisticuffs. I don’t like bullies and I will stand up for myself – I have had to where I’m small and short.
“If you let people bully you they just keep on and on.” of Mr Bean’s head and they were virtually up against each other when the stabbings took place.”
Mr Bean staggered back into the pub where the landlady grabbed tea towels to stem the blood and others went to his aid.
The next thing Mr Bean recalled was waking in up in hospital.
The trial continues.
The Rose pub in Kennington taped off after the incident