Man cleared of at­tempted mur­der in pub car park

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Keith Hunt

A man ac­cused of a re­peated stab­bing out­side an Ash­ford pub which left the vic­tim fight­ing for his life has been cleared of at­tempted mur­der.

Paul Bris­tow was also ac­quit­ted of an al­ter­na­tive charge of wound­ing with in­tent af­ter the jury de­lib­er­ated for just 90 min­utes.

The 25-year-old, of Chilm­ing­ton Green, Great Chart, ad­mit­ted be­ing at The Rose Inn at Ken­ning­ton that evening but de­nied knif­ing Dar­ran Bean.

The 47-year-old scaf­folder suf­fered five stab wounds to his chest, one of which pen­e­trated and cut his heart.

He spent a month in in­ten­sive care and only sur­vived be­cause of the skill of med­i­cal staff.

Maid­stone Crown Court heard the weapon was never found.

The stab­bing hap­pened in a CCTV “blind spot” of the Faver­sham Road, Ken­ning­ton pub on Oc­to­ber 2 last year.

It was busy with a group of trav­ellers “wet­ting a baby’s head”. Mr Bean was drink­ing with col­leagues. They were all drink­ing ami­ably.

How­ever, the at­mos­phere changed when Mr Bris­tow and his friend James Fuller ar­rived at about 11.20pm.

Prose­cu­tor An­drew Es­p­ley said although there was a his­tory of bad blood be­tween Mr Bean and Mr Bris­tow’s fam­ily mem­bers, there was no ill-feel­ing be­tween them per­son­ally.

Other cus­tomers sensed fric­tion be­tween Mr Bris­tow, his friend and the cel­e­brat­ing trav­ellers. Just be­fore mid­night Mr Fuller was or­dered to leave by staff and Mr Bris­tow fol­lowed.

Mr Es­p­ley said Mr Bris­tow in­vited Mr Bean out­side for a fight.

The two men ex­changed punches in the car park, hit­ting each other to the head. Then, Mr Bean re­alised he had been stabbed.

He stag­gered back into the pub where the land­lady, Sara Jones, used tea tow­els to stem the blood. Oth­ers also went to his aid. The next thing he re­mem­bered was wak­ing up in hos­pi­tal.

He had been given vi­tal first aid by staff and drinkers at bar as he went into car­diac ar­rest.

Five paramedics then treated him on the pub floor be­fore he was taken first to Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal in Ash­ford and then to Lon­don’s King’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal where he un­der­went open heart surgery.

Mr Es­p­ley said af­ter the vi­o­lence the car Mr Bris­tow had been trav­el­ling in was cleaned and his Face­book ac­count was deleted by Oc­to­ber 12.

Af­ter the ver­dicts, Mr Bris­tow was due to be re­leased from cus­tody.

Judge Jeremy Carey told jurors: “This case was well in­ves­ti­gated and well pre­sented. You have reached ac­cord­ing to the ev­i­dence just ver­dicts, so that is what we ex­pect.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM3529857

Land­lady Sara and Dave helped Dar­ran Bean af­ter the at­tack out­side her pub

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4043937

Po­lice out­side The Rose Inn af­ter the at­tack

Pic­ture: Matthew Walker FM2441978

Judge Jeremy Carey

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