Murder Acquittal – Oliver Saxby QC Defends

January 24, 2018

John Buchanan, a 22 year old man from Ramsgate, has been cleared by a jury of murdering an acquaintance, Archie Ward, aged 40.

Buchanan had begun a relationship with Mr Ward’s ex-partner, Hannah Blake. This was something Mr Ward had found hard to accept and there had been simmering tension between the two men for some time. On occasions, Mr Ward would threaten to harm Mr Buchanan. And on occasions, Mr Buchanan would threaten Mr Ward back – for instance, telling him he would stab him.

Matters came to a head on 18th June when Mr Ward turned up at an address where Mr Buchanan was having a barbecue. Seeing him, Mr Buchanan told a friend that he was going to stab him and went to the house where he armed himself with a large kitchen knife. Some minutes later, Mr Buchanan appeared at the door of the house and, as the Crown alleged, threw it at Mr Ward.

The knife struck Mr Ward in the leg, severing his femoral artery. Mr Buchanan was heard by one prosecution witness to say that he hoped Mr Ward would die.

During the trial, the Crown called various eye witnesses, and also a pathologist to assist with the causation of death.

The jury took about two and a half hours to acquit Mr Buchanan of murder. They convicted him of manslaughter and sentence was adjourned.

Oliver Saxby QC was instructed by Bond Joseph, Canterbury. He was leading Phil Rowley from that firm.